For once we have a reporter who refuses to ignore the sordid history behind this crime. Most of the time, the long backstory is forgotten or omitted as a murder case goes to trial. But here, we even go into the family court's role in granting this criminal father custody. So kudos to Mark Gomez.
What can I say about custodial dad MARK EDWARD MESITI that I haven't said before? Except that I hope he finally fries for what he did to this girl.
Death penalty sought for former South Bay man accused of killing his daughter
By Mark Gomez
Posted: 03/13/2012 09:07:03 AM PDT
March 13, 2012 5:3 PM GMT Updated: 03/13/2012 10:03:19 AM PDT
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against a former South Bay man accused of killing and molesting his 14-year-old daughter in 2006, just months after a Santa Clara County judge awarded him custody.
The Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office said in court Monday it will seek the death penalty against Mark Edward Mesiti, 44, who is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting his daughter Alycia from July, 2005 through May, 2006, according to the Modesto Bee.
Prosecutors stated in court documents that they are seeking the death penalty because of the age and vulnerability of the victims, Mesiti's lack of remorse and evidence of his other crimes, according to the Bee. Prosecutors in Stanislaus County have added allegations that Mesiti sexually abused two other girls, one age 8 and the other 16 and 17, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Bee.
The Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office could not immediately be reached for comment.
Alycia Augusta Mesiti-Allen was 14 when she vanished in August 2006, months after a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge granted custody of the girl and her older brother to Mesiti, who at the time had a lengthy criminal history. After winning custody of his children, Mesiti moved to Ceres, a small town located near Modesto in the Central Valley.
At the time of Alycia's disappearance, Mesiti told Ceres police the girl ran away during a camping trip with friends and her pet.
Her body was discovered in March, 2009 by cadaver-sniffing dogs in the backyard of Mesiti's former Central Valley home.
Alycia and her brother, now an adult, were placed in Mesiti's care by the family court in November 2005. During the previous seven years, court records show, Mesiti had been convicted of state and federal charges, including bank fraud and drunken driving. He also was charged with domestic violence and ordered to attend anger-management classes after pleading guilty to a lesser charge.
During the nine months Alycia and her brother lived with Mesiti, police and child welfare workers fielded repeated warnings of danger in their Ceres home. Beginning in 2005, the children's court-appointed lawyer, Jonnie Herring, reported her concerns, recommending only a supervised, temporary placement with Mesiti due to "sufficient issues and risks to these minors." In 2006, she reported that Mesiti had failed to comply with court orders to enroll his children in school and remain in touch.
Alycia's disappearance was not elevated to a homicide investigation until a longtime detective on the case retired and a Ceres investigations supervisor ordered up a fresh round of interviews. Police obtained a search warrant for Mesiti's former Ceres home, which he is said to have abandoned a few months after Alycia vanished, and discovered her remains buried in the backyard.
Days later, Ceres and Los Angeles police arrested Mesiti in a Los Angeles apartment and found evidence of a meth lab. Mesiti was convicted in Los Angeles County of manufacturing methamphetamine in May and sentenced to five years at North Kern State Prison, according to the Bee.