Mark DeSimone, 56, a former Arizona legislator convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a man at a remote cabin site in Alaska in 2016 was sentenced Monday to 65 years in prison, with 20 years suspended.
DeSimone was a dichotomy. On one hand he was a hot-head, with drinking problems whose violence toward his then-wife in 2008, escalated eight yeas later to the murder of an acquaintance during a hunting and fishing trip in Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News carries the complete report, including a photo of the now unrecognizable DeSimone.
Previously, DeSimone was a well-presented businessman. The Phoenix bar owner was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2006, representing then-District 11, a GOP stronghold. He was considered genial by his colleagues. His interest in politics initially piqued as he opposed a ballot Initiative known as Proposition 201 or the “Smoke-Free Arizona Act.” It banned smoking in public buildings, bars and restaurants, which he believed would hurt business. Despite his opposition, it passed 54.8% to 45.2%.
After his arrest for spousal abuse, DeSimone resigned his legislative seat, ultimately moving to Juneau where he had attended high school. Unable find employment, he advertised his services as a handyman and slept in his car or bunked with friends. Then came the unexplained two shots to the back of the victim’s head, resulting in the life sentence of the assailant, a widow and two sets of fatherless children.