JUNEAU, Alaska – A man believed to be a former Arizona Democrat state legislator who has spent the last month as a day laborer in Alaska's capital city has been accused of killing a man in a hunting party after a day of drinking.
Mark De Simone, 53, faces murder charges in the shooting death of 34-year-old Duilio Antonio "Tony" Rosales at Excursion Inlet, a remote hunting spot 35 miles northwest of Juneau, the Juneau Empire reported.
A member of the six-man hunting party heard two shots Sunday evening. When he came to the front of the cabin, he found Rosales dead from two gunshot wounds to the back of the head from a .41 magnum revolver.
Assistant district attorney Amy Paige said it's believed Rosales was killed as he sat at a picnic table, taking off his boots.
De Simone allegedly told another member of the hunting party: "I shot Tony. I shot him. It's my fault," according to an affidavit filed in court.
According to the affidavit, a second witness told Alaska State Trooper Ryan Anderson that De Simone was walking on a trail, mumbling something to the effect that he shot Rosales. Authorities said De Simone had been seen drinking alcohol throughout the day.
De Simone was arraigned on Tuesday and has been appointed a public defender. An email seeking comment and sent after business hours by The Associated Press to the public defender agency in Juneau wasn't immediately returned.
During Tuesday's hearing, Judge Keith Levy allowed Rosales' widow to address De Simone.
"I just want to ask him why he did that to my husband! Just give me an answer! Why?" Maria Rosales said during emotional testimony that stopped at times while she wept and put her head on her arms. De Simone didn't appear to react, the newspaper reported.
She said her husband was originally from Nicaragua and moved to Juneau from Miami five years ago. Her husband worked at a downtown jewelry store, The Jewel Box. They have one child in Juneau and another in Nicaragua.
Paige told the court that De Simone has only been in Juneau about a month. She said he spent his days "couch surfing," and working as a day laborer, possibly at the same jewelry store. A Rosales family friend, Morgan Cruz, told the Empire that the hunting trip was organized by the owner of the store. A message left by the AP at the store wasn't immediately returned Tuesday evening.
Paige told the AP that their investigation so far reveals the accused man is also a former member of the Arizona House of Representatives. Mark De Simone was a Democrat who represented Phoenix from 2006 to 2008, and he resigned after he was arrested in a domestic dispute with his wife.
Both the lawmaker and the man charged with murder have the same birth date, Jan. 3, 1963.
De Simone is being held at the Lemon Creek Correctional Facility in Juneau on $500,000 bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 27.