Prosecutors to seek death penalty against Wesson

FRESNO, Calif. – Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against the Fresno man charged with killing nine family members.

Fresno County District Attorney Elizabeth Egan made the announcement Tuesday after “a careful review of the facts and applicable law,” in defendant Marcus Wesson‘s case, according to a news release.

Wesson’s attorney, Peter Jones, told The Fresno Bee that he was not surprised by the decision.

“From our standpoint, we have been preparing on the assumption that they would seek the death penalty,” Jones said. “Obviously, our hope was that they would elect not to.”

A hearing is scheduled in Fresno County Superior Court on Wednesday to discuss delaying the trial from Sept. 14 until mid-December. Wesson’s defense also wants to move the trial to another county. A hearing on the change of venue request is scheduled for Aug. 20.

Wesson is charged with shooting nine of his children March 12. The victims ranged from ages 1 to 25. Officers were called to his home by two women who were trying to retrieve their children from inside the Wesson household. Those children died in the shooting.

Wesson, 57, is also accused of 13 sex crimes, including rape, with each of the victims believed to be family members. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Associated Press, USA
Aug. 11, 2004
www.montereyherald.com

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday August 11, 2004.
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