Witness details Wesson's opinions, beliefs

Fresno Bee/March 29, 2005
By Pablo Lopez

Man accused in Fresno's worst mass murder writes books, country-western songs.

A Fresno jury learned Monday that Marcus Wesson has opinions - many of them - ranging from Jesus being a womanizer, to vampires being like Jesus, to Republicans and Democrats ruining America.

Wesson, on trial in Fresno's worst mass murder, also likes to sing to his visitors in jail, testimony revealed.

One of his country-western songs, in memory of his slain children, starts like this:

"This is my guitar blazing by a campfire."

"Wondering why they were taken from me." Prosecutor Lisa Gamoian introduced Wesson's jailhouse ramblings in Fresno County Superior Court to show jurors how his family members believed everything he said and allegedly were willing to kill on his behalf.

Wesson, 58, is charged with killing nine of his children inside his Fresno home near Roeding Park on March 12, 2004. He also is charged with sexually abusing his daughters and nieces. Wesson has pleaded not guilty.

For the third day, Gamoian used testimony from Wesson's niece Rosa Solorio, 23, to illustrate Wesson's penchant for using God and religion to control his children and nieces.

Solorio's testimony resumes today in Judge R.L. Putnam's courtroom. Defense attorneys will cross-examine Solorio.

Solorio has testified that she still loves Wesson, considers herself one of his wives and believes God speaks through him. She also has told jurors that she and others were willing to die to protect him from the outside world.

To give jurors insight into Wesson, Gamoian read transcripts of secretly recorded jail visits between Wesson and Solorio and other relatives.

During one visit, Wesson told Solorio that the Lord put him in jail to lose weight, something he also told his son, according to earlier testimony.

Jail records state Wesson weighed 300 pounds when he was arrested on March 12, 2004, but he looked closer to 400 pounds. Now he appears much slimmer.

Gamoian asked Solorio whether she believed Wesson.

Yes, Solorio replied, saying there could be no other reason for his incarceration.

What about the murders and sex charges? Gamoian asked Solorio.

"He's not guilty of it," Solorio replied.

Wesson also claimed that the Lord told him that he won't have to go to trial in connection with the killings, according to transcripts Gamoian read to jurors.

Did you believe him? Gamoian asked Solorio.

Yes, she replied. The case against him is all lies and "justice will prevail," Solorio told jurors.

Gamoian, however, reminded Solorio that Wesson is on trial. "Did Wesson lie to you, or is the Lord wrong?" Gamoian asked Solorio.

Neither, Solorio said. "Maybe the Lord has a different plan."

Predicted end of world in 2000

In another conversation, Wesson told Solorio that the second coming of Christ, or the end of the world, was here. Initially, Wesson believed the end would come in 2000.

Solorio said she never questioned Wesson's prediction, even when it didn't come true. "The Lord will come," she told jurors, "but no one knows the time."

Wesson said the Lord took responsibility for the killings to save the children from experiencing the "darkness" at the end of the world, according to the jail transcripts.

"The Lord is telling me some strange stuff," Wesson told Solorio. "The Lord said, 'Marcus, this is the end of times.'"

Wesson said the Lord then explained why the children had to die: "They weren't ready. They would have been in darkness. That's why I removed your family."

"To hear some crap like that scared me," Wesson told Solorio.

Wesson said he asked God why he didn't die on March 12, 2004.

"Because you weren't ready," Wesson said the Lord told him.

"He wants me to do some serious work for him," Wesson told Solorio, according to the jail transcripts.

Solorio told jurors she, too, was searching for answers to why the children were killed. "I don't know why the Lord would let it happen," she testified. "I still don't know."

Solorio then said she believes God speaks through Wesson and sometimes speaks to her. "You can feel him around you once in a while," Solorio said.

Solorio said she didn't always understand what Wesson was telling her during her jail visits. She said Wesson cried and stopped singing about his dead children after he recited this verse:

"When I ride, I can see my children with me."

Dislike for government

In other conversations, Wesson took shots at Republicans and Democrats.

He said, "Republicans are mean-spirited. They don't care about welfare and all that."

Democrats help families, Wesson surmised, but they believe in big government. "That's why I'm not a Democrat. I don't want the government in my life," Wesson said, according to the jail transcripts.

Solorio explained Wesson's dislike for government: "They took prayer out of school" and tried to take the word God out of the Pledge of Allegiance.

According to the jail transcripts, Wesson also talked about a new book he has been writing. "Yeah, it's a good book about my life, ever since I was in heaven and down here," Wesson said, according to the transcripts.

Wesson also makes reference to feeling electricity in his head. According to the transcripts, Wesson said the Lord told him: "I've never seen that, except at the beginning of time, when angels were mixing with men."

Wesson believes the Lord gave him an "angelic brain," the transcripts show.

Solorio also confirmed that she once overheard Wesson talking to his sister, Cheryl, about his beliefs.

Cheryl, whose last name wasn't given in court, differed with Wesson on his interpretation of the Bible, including his belief that "Jesus was a womanizer," Gamoian told jurors.

According to Gamoian, Wesson told Cheryl, "I am not a Christian. Because walking as Jesus Christ, it's impossible to be a Christian." Wesson said there were too many dos and don'ts to be a Christian.

Solorio also told jurors that Wesson had "visions," or could predict the future. She said Wesson, while in jail, knew without being told that Solorio had recently passed her drivers license test and that his son, Almae, missed a family gathering at a park.

But his prediction of the family getting a new car, which was wrecked in an auto accident, hasn't proved true, Solorio told jurors.

Fascination with vampires

Solorio also spoke of Wesson's desire for his daughters and nieces to have "children for the Lord" and his obsession with vampires. She confirmed that Wesson had written a second book: "The Metaphysical Aspects of Spiritual Vampirism."

Wesson's first manuscript, "In the Night, of the Light, for the Dark," which detailed his "life and understandings before this millennium," was rejected by Vantage Press in 2002.

Solorio said she hasn't read Wesson's second manuscript, but confirmed that he and his family were fascinated with vampires.

Solorio told jurors that her daughter, 1-year-old Sedona Vadra Wesson, who was one of the slain children, was given a vampire name. Sedona means "goddess of beauty," Solorio said.

Solorio also testified that Wesson believed that Christ and vampires are similar because "they both live forever. They are immortal."

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