The murder trial for Mark De Simone, suspect in the fatal shooting of a Juneau jeweler on a hunting trip last spring, has been postponed until next year.
De Simone, a 53-year-old ex-Arizona lawmaker, faces one first-degree murder charge and two second-degree murder charges, as well as lesser charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, in the death of 34-year-old Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales.
De Simone’s trial has been postponed several times — initially set for August 2016, it was rescheduled to May of this year. At a status conference in January, Assistant Public Defender Timothy Ayer told Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg he was still waiting for evidence from the crime lab, which could potentially delay the trial. According to Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige, her office had just received a report on latent fingerprints, but was still waiting for DNA results.
De Simone’s defense was recently transferred to Assistant Public Defender Deborah Macaulay. In court on Monday, the trial was postponed by Pallenberg until Jan. 2.
Rosales’ widow, Maria, appeared telephonically and said she was prepared to wait, although she had hoped the trial would take place this year.
When De Simone was arraigned last year, Maria Rosales made an emotional plea in court before collapsing in sobs, asking him why he killed her husband.
Alaska State Troopers found Rosales with two bullet holes to the back of his head the night of May 15, 2016, at a private cabin in Excursion Inlet.
“I shot Tony. I shot him. It’s my fault,” De Simone allegedly confessed to a witness, according to an affidavit filed by Paige.
Juneau-based Trooper Ryan Anderson responded to the cabin and found De Simone sitting on a rock; Rosales was located under a picnic table, lying on the ground with two gunshot wounds to the back of his head, the affidavit stated.
Seth Bradshaw, a member of the hunting party and witness to the event, told troopers that he was relieving himself behind the cabin when he heard what he thought were two target shots around 7 p.m. When he walked to where the sound came from, he only saw De Simone.
De Simone reportedly told Bradshaw “I shot Tony. I shot him. It’s my fault,” then a second witness, Bradshaw’s brother Samuel Bradshaw, said De Simone walked along a trail after the shooting, mumbling something to himself to the effect that he shot Rosales.
Rosales had lived in Juneau for five years and worked at The Jewel Box downtown. Bill Young, the shop’s owner, reportedly invited Rosales on the hunting trip.
De Simone was born in upstate New York, then lived in Juneau from 1981 to 1988. He subsequently moved to Arizona, where he was convicted of felony loitering and later served as an Arizona state legislator.
De Simone reportedly was forcibly removed from that job because of a domestic violence assault against his wife in front of the couple’s developmentally disabled daughter. The defendant has only recently been in Juneau for approximately one month and was “couch surfing.”
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 523-2246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.