Marcus Wesson Not the Shooter?

ABC 30 Action News/May 27, 2004

Startling new evidence may be Marcus Wesson's best chance to prove his innocence as Wesson's defense says there's new reason to believe he didn't kill his nine children.

It's the results of gunpowder residue tests. Court documents say there was no residue found on Wesson's hands, suggesting someone else fired the gun.

In the latest court documents, defense attorney Pete Jones says gunpowder residue tests show Wesson was clean. It could be Wesson's best hope to convince a jury he didn't fire the weapon that killed his nine children.

David Mugridge, who first considered representing Wesson, says that single piece of evidence pokes a critical hole in the prosecution's case, "You're going to be able to argue ... if he doesn't have residue, it's because he didn't have the weapon. And if he didn't have the weapon, then he didn't commit the murder."

Wesson's defense contends it was daughter, Sabrhenah, who shot the eight children and then killed herself.

But, the prosecution could still get a conviction if it can prove Wesson had enough control over his family to order the murders.

That's a possibility, according to an cult expert Rick Ross, who spoke with Action News earlier this week, "The Marcus Wesson case is one of the most extreme cases of complete control or brainwashing that I have seen in over 20 years."

Meanwhile, Wesson still refuses to delay his trial, despite his lawyer's wishes.

That could keep the defense from getting a change of venue. But, with Wesson's role in the killings now in doubt, moving the trial may no longer be necessary.

The defense is asking for the trial to be pushed back to late August. That will come up in a hearing today.

Marcus Wesson still hasn't received any visitors here at the jail, even though restrictions have been lifted.

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