During his death penalty trial, Mark Mesiti admitted to all 49 crimes in which he drugged, raped and eventually murdered his own 14-year-old daughter and now he wants to take it back. Mesiti plans on asking Modesto judge to let him withdraw his guilty plea in the decade-long trial that started when a Santa Clara County judge awarded him custody of his kids despite his lengthy criminal record.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/8fc50cb86143210ff2ac92e6f6a949d207667f320ee6387757404e9f914de931.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: Roberta Allen</span>
The poor decision on the part of the judge cost young Alycia Mesiti-Allen her life after she ended up buried in her father's backyard after years of sexual torment. Mesiti himself documented his crimes against his daughter which numbered over 40, each time being either videotaped or photographed. Stanislaus County Judge Dawna Reeves ordered only the jurors be allowed to see the images but the rest of the courtroom could still hear the testimony. Alycia’s great-aunt Roberta Fitzpatrick said, "Mark is disgusting. He uses the system to torture us."
Mesiti's decision to suddenly admit guilt six weeks after a jury had been chosen ultimately spared Fitzpatrick and Alycia's mother from enduring three more months of testimony. Now, Reeves must decide whether to sentence Mesiti to life in prison or allow his case to proceed to trial with a new jury. A defendant doesn't normally get a hearing automatically to withdraw a guilty plea but when representing oneself they do, and Mesiti had done so earlier on in the trial. It is unclear whether the judge will allow him an opportunity to show good cause for withdrawing the plea but it is possible he could argue that he wasn't aware of the consequences of pleading guilty.
This would likely be a stretch considering prosecutors made him spend more than an hour earlier this month pleading guilty to each of the 49 crimes separately instead of all at once. It is likely just going to end up being a stall tactic in which he is given a new trial but the end result will probably be the same. If Mesiti is not sentenced to life in prison without parole it will be the death penalty.
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