Mark De Simone listens during his trial in Juneau Superior Court on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. De Simone is accused of killing Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales during a hunting trip in Excursion Inlet in 2016. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Mark De Simone listens during his trial in Juneau Superior Court on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. De Simone is accused of killing Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales during a hunting trip in Excursion Inlet in 2016. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Jurors get look at gruesome, important evidence in murder case

The first day of witness testimony in the murder trial of Mark De Simone focused on De Simone and his demeanor on the 2016 hunting trip that culminated in a deadly shooting.

The second day focused on the man De Simone is accused of killing — Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales — and the circumstances surrounding the 34-year-old-Juneau jeweler’s death.

With the jury absent Tuesday, the two attorneys in the case went back and forth as to which photos of the crime scene and the body would be permitted as evidence to give to the jury. Assistant Public Defender Deborah Macaulay, representing De Simone, said it wasn’t necessary to show the jurors such gruesome photos when there were other photos from later on when Rosales’ body was cleaned up.

Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige disagreed, arguing that even though the images were difficult to look at, they can’t “sanitize the presentation of a murder trial for the jury.” Judge Philip Pallenberg agreed.

“Death is not pretty,” Pallenberg said, “and it is hard to make it so.”

A tense silence fell over the courtroom later that day as the 14 jurors were given photos of Rosales’ body. The photos were not shown to the rest of the court. Jurors passed the photos around, examining the positioning of Rosales’ body, the two wounds behind his right ear and the two wounds in his left cheek.

Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Matthew Hightower, one of the troopers who first responded to the scene, identified the wounds behind Rosales’ right ear as entrance wounds that indicated two gunshots. The wounds in Rosales’ left cheek, Hightower said under direct examination Tuesday, were where the two bullets exited.

[Keep up with the trial with our live blog]

Hightower spent a few hours on the stand Tuesday to illustrate the scene for the jury. He showed photographs and videos of the cabin at Excursion Inlet where the shooting took place, showing the deck of the cabin with particular detail. The deck, Hightower testified, is where he found Rosales’ body when the troopers arrived on the evening of May 15, 2016 (the night of the shooting).

Hightower presented the gun — a .41 Magnum revolver — that fired the shots, and also showed the jury a section of the railing of the deck that carried a faint bloodstain.

The gun will continue to be factor in the case, as Macaulay said in her opening statement that she will call gun experts in when it’s time for her to call witnesses.

During the discussion away from the jury about photographic evidence, Pallenberg cut to what he thought was the main objective of the case.

“I think the issue that’s in dispute in this case is largely Mr. De Simone’s mental state,” Pallenberg said, “and trying to understand as best they can exactly where Mr. De Simone was standing in relation to Mr. Rosales, what Mr. Rosales was doing, what Mr. De Simone was going, that’s what the jury has to try and figure out.”

Conflicting recollections

In testimony Monday and Tuesday morning, brothers Sam and Seth Bradshaw — who were on the hunting trip along with De Simone and Rosales — both testified De Simone admitted to them that he shot Rosales.

De Simone admitted the shooting to them in two different ways, the Bradshaws said. Seth testified Monday that he was behind the cabin at the time of the shooting, heard the two shots and came walking through the cabin. He ran into De Simone at the front door of the cabin, Seth testified, and then saw Rosales’ body.

Seth testified that when he asked De Simone what happened, De Simone responded that he shot Rosales, adding that it was all his fault.

A few minutes later, Sam testified, he ran into De Simone on a trail near the cabin. Sam was coming back from hunting for a bear, he testified Monday, when he saw De Simone and asked what happened.

De Simone’s alleged response was in question Tuesday morning.

Under direct examination from Paige, Sam testified that De Simone said he was “(screwing) around with the gun and shot” Rosales. What Sam told law enforcement at the time differed from that, as Macaulay played recordings of his interviews with troopers.

On the recordings, Sam told trooper Ryan Anderson that he couldn’t quite make out what De Simone had said. Sam said on the recording that he thought De Simone mumbled something about an accident. In his testimony to Anderson and the grand jury, he told Macaulay during cross-examination Tuesday, he didn’t specify what exactly De Simone had said to him.

During a second round of direct examination from Paige, Sam said this was because he didn’t recall what De Simone said until days later. Sam testified Tuesday that he was back home in Kansas unpacking when he recalled that De Simone said he was “(screwing) around.”

During a hearing on April 23, prior to jury selection, Sam said in court via telephone that when he remembered what De Simone said, he called Anderson. Anderson, who was also present telephonically at that hearing, said he received no such call.

“I don’t have any recollection of it in my memory or in my notes or in my reports,” Anderson said at the April 23 hearing, adding that he records every interview he does during an investigation and he has no recording of a follow-up interview with Sam Bradshaw.

Anderson is expected to take the stand this week.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Matthew Hightower is questioned by Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige in the trial of Mark De Simone in Juneau Superior Court on Monday, April 30, 2018. De Simone is accused of killing Rosales during a hunting trip in Excursion Inlet in 2016. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Matthew Hightower is questioned by Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige in the trial of Mark De Simone in Juneau Superior Court on Monday, April 30, 2018. De Simone is accused of killing Rosales during a hunting trip in Excursion Inlet in 2016. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales, pictured, was fatally shot in 2016. Rosales, a Juneau resident, was 34 at the time. (Courtesy photo | Rosales family)

Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales, pictured, was fatally shot in 2016. Rosales, a Juneau resident, was 34 at the time. (Courtesy photo | Rosales family)

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