A former Arizona legislator has been charged with first- and second-degree murder in connection with the May 15 death of a 34-year-old Alaska man.
Mark DeSimone, 53, is accused of shooting Duilio Antonio "Tony" Rosales, an immigrant from Nicaragua, twice in the back of the head during a hunting trip at a private cabin in Alaska, according to documents filed in Juneau District Court. Police say Rosales appeared to have been sitting on a picnic bench removing his boots when he was shot.
DeSimone, a Democrat, represented District 11 (now District 28), which covered north Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale, in Arizona’s House of Representatives in 2008, during which time he was awarded "Freshman of the Year" honors by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
DeSimone allegedly told a witness at the scene, "I shot Tony. I shot him. It’s my fault."
The witness, Seth Bradshaw, told police he was urinating behind a cabin when he heard two gunshots at 7 p.m. After DeSimone confessed, Bradshaw said, he wanted to walk into the woods, but Bradshaw made him stay with the body until police arrived at around 9:19 p.m.
During an arraignment hearing Tuesday afternoon, KTOO Public Media’s Matt Miller reported, Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige called the killing an "execution-style homicide."
The prosecutor identified the murder weapon as a .41 Magnum double-action revolver, noting that it takes "upwards of eight pounds of pressure" to pull the trigger once.
“You have to mean it to fire it twice,” she said.
DeSimone had only been in the area about a month, sleeping on friends' couches and working as a day laborer at a jewelry shop, according to a story in the Juneau Empire.
A friend of the victim told Empire reporter Paula Ann Solis that the store's owner, Bill Young, had invited DeSimone, Rosales (who also worked at the jewelry shop), and several others on the hunting trip to Excursion Inlet, where Young owns two cabins.
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On his page at LinkedIn.com, DeSimone lists his status as "seeking employment" and, in addition to his time in the legislature, touts his tenure, from 1990 through 2014, as owner of the Hidden House Lounge/Bruno Mali's Cafe. A Facebook entry from early this year reads, "In case you haven't noticed I am looking for work. I am very willing to do odd jobs too if you know of anything. Thanks."
According to the police report of DeSimone's 2008 assault charge, Mali DeSimone had called 911 after an argument got out of control and, she said, her husband "grabbed her by the shoulders with both of his hands ... [threw] her to the floor in the bedroom ... sat on top of her around the stomach area and started punching her with his closed right hand in the face and arms." The charge was later dismissed. The couple has since divorced.
In addition to the murder counts, DeSimone was charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Bail was set at $500,000 cash. A friend of the Rosales family has set up an online fundraising page.