Jury Finds Wesson Guilty of Murdering Nine Family Members

Sacramento Bee/June 17, 2005

A Fresno jury has found Marcus Wesson guilty of first degree murder in the 2004 deaths of nine family members.

Wesson, 58, was charged with killing 25-year-old Sebhrenah Wesson and eight children. The jurors determined Wesson was responsible for their deaths, but did not make a finding that he actually pulled the trigger in the mass shooting.

The defense had argued Sebhrenah Wesson had killed her sister, 17-year-old Elizabeth Wesson, and seven children, including her own child. The children were as young as age one. They were Jeva Wesson, Sedma Wesson, Marshey Wesson, Ethan Wesson, Illabelle Wesson, Aviv Wesson and Jonathan Wesson.

Wesson also faced seven counts of forcible rape, two counts of forcible oral copulation and five counts of sexual abuse involving his underage children and nieces. The jury convicted him on all 14 of those charges. The jurors have been deliberating since June 2.

The jurors must now determine if Wesson should be sentenced to death or face life in prison. They will reconvene for penalty phase deliberations next Wednesday.

Wesson, was arrested March 12, 2004 following a standoff with police at his Fresno home. After he surrendered, officers discovered the bodies of the nine victims. All had been shot in the head. Police call it the worst mass murder in the city's history.

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