Prelim for Ceres man suspected of abusing, killing daughter postponed

06/26/2013 4:36 PM

06/26/2013 4:38 PM

Defense attorneys likely will ask a judge to postpone an Aug. 6 preliminary hearing for a father accused of murdering his 14-year-old daughter more than three years before her remains were unearthed from a Ceres back yard.

Defendant Mark Edward Mesiti appeared Wednesday in Stanislaus County Superior Court. His attorneys are seeking access to personnel records for two Ceres police officers involved in the investigation.

Judge John Freeland said he will make a ruling on the issue at a hearing July 24, so the attorney for the city of Ceres can have enough time to respond to the defense motion. Robert Orenstein, one of Mesiti's attorneys, told Freeland that they plan to file a motion for the postponement before the next hearing.

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

At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, which is expected to last two weeks, the judge will determine whether there is sufficient evidence for Mesiti to stand trial. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

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