Mother of slain child testifies at Wesson’s trial

FRESNO — Sofina Solorio wanted to take her son out of Marcus Wesson‘s household because he was not keeping his word — he continued to have children with his own daughters, according to her testimony Monday at the man’s multiple murder trial.

“We had agreed he wouldn’t do this anymore,” Sofina Solorio said.

Before going to Wesson’s house March 12 to rescue the child she bore him, Sofina Solorio said she gathered her uncles, brothers and sisters, knowing the family patriarch would not give up her son without a struggle.

Sofina Solorio kept her voice steady Monday, never glancing at Wesson seated at the defense table as she described the plan she and her sister Ruby Sanchez devised to get the children they had with Wesson from his household.

Each of the supporting family members had a task — some would distract Wesson, while others took the children from his home, Sofina Solorio said.

“Just to let you girls know, Marcus told me he’ll do anything to protect his children,” Sofina Solorio’s brother told her, according to her testimony.

The sisters’ plan fell apart as family members confronted others inside the house and failed to pull away their children — Sofina Solorio’s son Jonathon, 9, and Ruby Sanchez’s daughter Aviv, 7.

Sofina Solorio was shoved from the home by her cousin Sebhrenah Wesson, according to testimony.

“Judas, Judas,” Sebhrenah and other women chanted as Sofina Solorio left the house.

“Bow down to your master,” Sebhrenah Wesson told Ruby Sanchez, as she  pointed to Wesson’s feet, Sofina Solorio said.

Family members who gathered outside the Wesson home grew desperate, and called the police. Officers answering the call of a child custody dispute didn’t have a warrant to enter the house, according to previous testimony.

Fresno Police Sergeant Pat Jackson said on the witness stand Monday that he was aware that a gun might be involved, but he didn’t believe the children were in danger.

Wesson kept officers at the front door for more than one hour, calmly talking to police outside and his daughters and nieces in the home.

When one officer was distracted, Wesson ducked inside the house and disappeared into the bedroom where the children were being kept. One of his daughters began barricading the entranceto the room with furniture, according to the prosecution.

“I knew that if he went into the back, he would kill the children,” Sofina Solorio said. She begged Sgt. Jackson to go into the house, but he was on the phone, and waved her away, the woman testified.

She ran to another officer, who was in his patrol car in front of the house

“The officer told me, ‘There’s nothing I can do, ma’am,” Sofina Solorio tearfully testified.

When she returned to the door, Sofina Solorio said one of Wesson’s sons, who had been in the house, ran into her arms, crying.

“I think dad killed Sebhrenah and Lizie,” he told her, according to testimony.

Later, when Wesson surrendered and police entered the bedroom, they found nine bodies “stacked like wood,” prosecutor  Lisa Gamoian said in her opening statement last week. Among them were Sofina’s and Ruby’s children, and seven others, including Sebhrenah Wesson.

Wesson is charged with nine counts of murder. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Sofina and Ruby, Wesson’s nieces, grew up in his controlling household, obeying the same rules he set for his own daughters. They dressed modestly, withdrew from public school, and attended sessions in which he read from his copy of the King James bible, according to testimony. Like other young women and children in the house, they had sexual relations with Wesson, bearing him children.

A family tree diagram used by the prosecution in court shows that Wesson fathered 17 or more children with several different women. The mothers of  his children include his mother-in-law, his wife, two of his daughters and three of his nieces.

Wesson exchanged unofficial marriage vows with one of his daughters and two of his nieces.

When they became pregnant, he ordered them to say they had been artificially inseminated, Gamoian said.

In addition to the murder charges, Wesson is accused of sexual assault.

Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Associated Press, via the San Mateo County Times, USA
Mar. 8, 2005
Juliana Barbassa, Associated Press

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday March 9, 2005.
Last updated if a date shows here:


More About This Subject


Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at