Suspect called an 'evil person'

Sister-in-law paints a grim picture of Wesson.

The Fresno Bee/March 19, 2004
By Jim Davis

A sister-in-law of murder suspect Marcus Wesson said she believes he killed his children to control them because he was afraid they would be taken away.

In one of the closest glimpses into the events on Hammond Avenue last Friday, Teresa Solorio said Thursday that Wesson refused to return two children to their mothers.

"He's so evil," Solorio said. "He's just an evil person, he was so controlling. That was the ultimate control of their life -- whether they live or die."

She said she was told that when the first police officers arrived, they did not enter the house, even after speaking with Wesson while he was in his living room.

"Marcus is such a good talker," Solorio said. "When he spoke with the police, he was very calm. He said he was going to go tell his kids bye, and he walked back."

Solorio told The Bee that the two mothers, Ruby Sanchez, 26, and Sofina Solorio, 28 -- whom she referred to as Sofia -- want to make a public statement, but they want to first hire an attorney and appoint a family spokesman. Teresa Solorio's husband is the uncle of both women.

"Sofia and Ruby want to bury their kids first, and then they want to tell their story," Solorio said. "They just want to rest their kids."

Solorio also said some family members are upset with the police for not preventing the shootings.

"I was on the phone when all of the stuff was happening," the woman said. "Sofia heard two to three shots, and she told the police she heard them." Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Thursday night he had not received any information that one of the mothers reported hearing shots. "To my knowledge, based on what investigators have told me, no officer heard gunshots or were made aware of gunshots," he said.

Dyer said he would not continue to respond to every witness' statement: "I want the department's focus to be on gathering the evidence we need to prosecute this case successfully."

Teresa Solorio, who lives in the Bay Area, asked that she be identified by her middle name and married name, because she does not want to draw media attention, fearing it would harm her young children.

Teresa Solorio's husband is the brother of Elizabeth Wesson, who is married to Marcus Wesson.

Solorio said Marcus and Elizabeth Wesson raised Ruby Sanchez and Sofina Solorio, their nieces. She said the girls lived a painful life of sexual abuse, with Marcus Wesson controlling and manipulating them.

She said that while Sanchez and Solorio were able to break away from Marcus Wesson, they left their own children, fathered by Marcus Wesson, with him. Those children, Johnathon St Charles Wesson, 7, and Aviv Dominique Wesson, 7, were among those shot and killed at 761 W. Hammond Ave. last Friday.

She said that in the time they were away from Wesson, the women lived independent lives and obtained jobs and decided to take their children back.

"They didn't want their children to get abused by him," she said.

Last Friday, Sanchez and Solorio went to the house on Hammond Avenue to get their children. The two brought eight of their relatives and one friend for support.

Teresa Solorio said the women wanted her husband, Elizabeth's brother, to go along as well, but she wouldn't let him.

"I had a really bad feeling, and I told my husband he was going to get shot if he goes over there," she said.

She said she has known Marcus Wesson for more than six years but didn't know him well, saying that he lived a secluded life. She said that he has a "dark side, but he's not crazy." She said he wasn't involved with a cult or sect.

"He was never for the police," Teresa Solorio said. "He was always saying how the man was out for him, the law was out to get him -- he was real paranoid in that way."

Teresa Solorio said the friend called her from a cell phone outside the Wesson house when the standoff with police began. She was disconnected, and she called back and asked to speak with Sofina Solorio.

She said Sofina Solorio told her that she heard shots and pleaded with officers to go into the home, saying that she was worried the children would be killed. But she said the officers told her they were getting a search warrant and couldn't legally enter the home.

She said Sofina Solorio couldn't give a reason why the officers didn't hear the shots.

"Maybe they didn't hear it with all the commotion or they were on the radio speaking with their supervisors," Solorio said. "I really can't defend them."

Solorio said she was on the phone with Sofina Solorio and told her to go to the police officer and threaten him with a lawsuit if the police didn't break the door down. But the police didn't do what Sofina asked.

Dyer has said that officers can only enter a home without a search warrant if they are pursuing a suspect or someone is in immediate danger. His officers were told by the city's legal counsel they did not have a reason to enter, Dyer said. They called negotiators and a SWAT team.

About two hours after the standoff began, Wesson walked out of the home with blood on his clothes.

Officers went into the back bedroom and found the victims, their bodies stacked in a pile mixed with clothing.

Teresa Solorio said she has talked with both mothers and that the family is upset with the police. She said they don't want to issue any statements until their case is reviewed by an attorney. She said they fear that their comments could jeopardize the case against Wesson.

Solorio said her family had speculated that Marcus Wesson was molesting his children, but they were secluded from the rest of the family.

"It's twisted, it's so disgusting," she said. "It's sad that it went on so long and nobody contacted authorities. It's a really sad situation, and the things they had to endure."

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