Wesson Jr. calls father 'insane'

Fresno Bee/March 22, 2005
By Pablo Lopez

Marcus Wesson Jr. told a Fresno jury today that he didn't always understand his father's religious ramblings about being like Jesus Christ and God speaking through him.

Marcus Wesson Sr.'s obsession with the Bible and outside activities eventually caused his son to tell a detective that he thought his father was "insane," the younger Wesson told jurors in Fresno County Superior Court.

For the second day in a row, Wesson Jr., 22, has given a first-hand account of what it's like to be the son of a man accused of being the city's worst mass murderer.

Wesson, 58, is charged with killing nine of his children inside his Fresno home near Roeding Park on March 12, 2004. He also faces 14 counts of sexually abusing his daughters and nieces.

For the first time, prosecutor Lisa Gamoian on Tuesday gave jurors an inside look into Wesson's thinking. According to Gamoian, jail officials tape-recorded Wesson's visits with his family. In one taped conversation, Wesson told Marcus Jr. that he was in jail to lose weight and save himself a heart attack. "I'm not here for the stupid reason," the elder Wesson reportedly told his son. When Wesson was arrested, jail records say he was 300 pounds, though Wesson himself said in the taped interview that he was 485 pounds. In a year's time, he appears to have lost about half his body weight.

Gamoian said the elder Wesson also talked about having mental telepathy.

"The Lord has me mentally hooked up to you guys 24 hours a day," the elder Wesson reportedly said. "Whatever I think goes to you spiritually."

Wesson Jr. told jurors he didn't always understand what his father was saying.

Testimony has revealed that the murdered victims were all fathered by Wesson. The mothers included Wesson's wife, Elizabeth, daughters Kiani and Sebhrenah, and nieces Sofina and Rosa Solorio and Ruby Ortiz.

Wesson Jr. told jurors in Judge R.L. Putnam's courtroom that he suspected something unusual when his sisters and cousins turned up pregnant. The women didn't date nor have boyfriends, he testified.

Though he heard news accounts that named his dad as the father of the slain children, he told jurors that he never confronted him about it.

"I was not ready to face the answer," the younger Wesson said. "I can't handle the answer."

After the killings, Wesson Jr. told detective Richard Byrd in a taped interview that he thought his father was "insane," his testimony revealed.

Part of the reason was his father's constant religious ramblings. The other reason was that Wesson was always trying to build things, his son said.

As an example, the younger Wesson said, his father cut apart a school bus to customize it. Wesson was working on the bus, when Sofina Solorio and Ruby Ortiz came to reclaim their children - an incident that ignited the March 2004 killings.

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