Ceres man accused of killing daughter in court with new attorney

02/05/2013 12:47 AM

02/05/2013 12:51 AM

A man accused of murdering his teenage daughter appeared briefly in Stanislaus County Superior Court on Monday morning with his newly appointed attorney, who will handle the capital murder penalty phase if he is convicted as charged.

Mark Edward Mesiti, 45, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 14-year-old daughter, Alycia Mesiti. He also faces 44 counts of sexually abusing his daughter. The prosecutor has filed additional sex-abuse charges against Mesiti involving two other girls.

Authorities believe the defendant buried his daughter in the back yard of their Ceres home, where she was discovered nearly three years later.

Mark Sullivan has been appointed to be Mesiti's "Keenan counsel," a second defense attorney who would handle the penalty phase. Robert Orenstein remains as Mesiti's defense attorney handling the trial phase.

Because Sullivan needs time to get up to speed on the case, Judge John Freeland scheduled Mesiti to return to court Feb. 25 for another pretrial hearing. The preliminary hearing has not yet been scheduled.

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