DeSimone found guilty on first-degree murder charge in Excursion Inlet shooting death

Mark DeSimone is led away from the courtroom May 11, 2018, after a jury convicts him on a charge of first-degree murder. DeSimone stood trial in Juneau Superior Court on charges related to the May 2016 death of Duilio “Tony” Rosales in Excursion Inlet. DeSimone‘s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Deborah Macaulay, is at left. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

Mark DeSimone has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Duilio “Tony” Rosales. A Juneau jury returned with a verdict Friday morning after roughly six hours of deliberations that started Thursday. The trial started April 25.

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Maria Gonzales says it was painful reliving the details of her husband’s death over the last three weeks. Gonzales is the widow of Rosales who was shot and killed at an Excursion Inlet cabin in May 2016.

Gonzales broke down and ran from the courtroom shortly after the verdict was read.

“I think there will always be an open hole in my heart forever,” Gonzales said. “Forever, because he took my husband. He was a really good man, you know. He didn’t deserve to die like that. Nobody! Not even him. Not even him!”

Gonzales and Rosales had a little girl, who’s now kindergarten age. For Gonzales, feelings are still raw after two years.

“I’m still emotional,” Gonzales said. “I’ve been waiting for this for two years, and finally I can say that he’s going to be fine with God. And, anyways, they’re going to give him a hundred years, but it’s not going to bring my husband back. But…that makes me feel a little bit better.”

Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales poses for a photo on the last day of his life on May 16, 2016, in Excursion Inlet. (Photo courtesy Rosales family)

First-degree murder was the most serious of the charges filed against DeSimone. He was also charged with two counts of second-degree murder, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. But the jury did not have to deliberate on those lesser charges after agreeing on a verdict for first-degree murder.

The defense attorney never disputed that DeSimone shot Rosales. Instead, Assistant Public Defender Deborah Macaulay argued that the two shots were unintentional discharges from a revolver that did not have a required safety modification.

Prosecution said there was nothing wrong with the operation of the revolver. Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige argued that a repeated cocking, aiming, and firing of the single-action revolver was DeSimone’s own choice.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 12. DeSimone faces a term of between 20 and 99 years in prison.