Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Marcus Wesson: Control, Incest and Murder

Triggerwoman?

Rosa Solorio
Rosa Solorio
By the time the case came to trial in the Fresno County Superior Court in June 2005, the attention of the national media had shifted to the case of another accused pedophile: Michael Jackson.

A parade of 50 witnesses took the stand during Wesson's three-month trial.

His lawyers argued that Sebhrenah shot the children before turning the gun on herself. According to testimony, the young woman was so fond of guns she carried cartridges in her purse and liked to play "Army," painting her face green and black like camouflage.

According to the defense, Sebhrenah held the .22-caliber Ruger Mark II pistol to the eye of each child and squeezed the trigger before killing her sister Elizabeth and her herself. The argument was bolstered by expert testimony saying the sisters died an hour or two after the younger victims.

Ethan St. Laurent (back) and Marshey St. Christopher
Ethan St. Laurent (back)
and Marshey St. Christopher
Although neither the fingerprints of Marcus nor Sebhrenah Wesson were found on the pistol, Sebhrenah's DNA was, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The prosecution rebutted by arguing that Wesson was ultimately guilty of the massacre, because he'd primed his children to kill and be killed.

Sedona Wesson
Sedona Wesson
"In this family, he was Christ himself, the ultimate authority figure who determined life and death," prosecutor Lisa Gamoian told the court. "But for his suicide pact, for his teachings, none of this would have happened."

Rosa Solorio, 23, whose children Ethan, 4, and Sedona, 1, were among the dead, wore the gold wedding ring Wesson gave her on the witness stand, and said she still loved him and considered herself his wife. Her strident support differed from a taped interview she gave Fresno detectives shortly after the slayings, when she admitted her conflicted feelings about Wesson.

"I do love Marcus a lot," she said in the interview. "I understand what he did and everything. But at the same time, it's just that to me, he's my father, and I do not want to be responsible for putting him away. I just don't feel it's right for me to do it."

She told the court that Wesson bought the caskets for their mahogany wood, which he'd planned to use on a renovation project. They could also be used as beds in a pinch, she added with a straight face.

 

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