Wesson jury hears forensic details

Fresno Bee/April 29, 2005
By Pablo Lopez

Jurors in the murder trial of Marcus Wesson learned this morning that one of the nine victims killed in his Fresno home in March 2004 was shot twice in the right eye.

Robert Barbery, a police identification bureau technician, testified in Fresno County Superior Court that he photographed the two entry wounds on 17-year-old Elizabeth Wesson's right eye.

During an autopsy, Barbery said, he also collected as evidence four bullet fragments that were removed from the base of Elizabeth's skull and one bullet fragment from the back of her neck. The evidence was given to him by Dr. Venu Gopal, who performed all nine autopsies at the Fresno County Coroner's Office.

After four days of testimony regarding the crime-scene investigation, jurors in Judge R.L. Putnam's courtroom this morning began learning about forensic evidence, which could help prove whether Wesson shot the victims or, as Wesson's lawyers contend, his daughter Sebhrenah did.

Marcus Wesson, 58, is charged with killing nine of his children inside his home near Roeding Park on March 12, 2004. He also is accused of sexually abusing his daughters and nieces. He has pleaded not guilty. Testimony has revealed that Marcus Wesson is the father of the slain victims. The mothers include his wife, Elizabeth, daughters Kiani and Sebhrenah, and nieces Rosa and Sofina Solorio and Ruby Ortiz.

Soon after Marcus Wesson was arrested, officers discovered the victims stacked in a corner of a rear bedroom.

The bodies were discovered from top to bottom in this order: Sebhrenah, 25; Elizabeth, 17; Jeva, 1; Sedona, 1; Marshey, 1; Ethan, 4; Illabelle, 8; Aviv, 7; and Jonathan, 7.

Each victim was shot in the right eye, except for Marshey, who was shot in the left eye, testimony has revealed.

This morning Gopal began his first day on the witness stand describing Sebhrenah's wound to her right eye.

He testified that she was shot at close range because the wound was consisted with the gun's muzzle touching the skin around her eye ball. The gun's front sight also left an imprint on the skin left of her eyeball, or in the 9 o'clock position, Gopal said. After penetrating the eye ball, the bullet traved through a portion of the brain and lodged in the base of her skull; there was no exit wound, Gopal told jurors.

His testimony will resume Monday.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.