Incredibly sad article: Vallejo man on trial for torching two boys in attack on ex


    Vallejo man on trial for torching two boys in attack on ex-girlfriend

    Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
    Tuesday, October 9, 2007
    (10-09) 15:18 PDT MARTINEZ - A Vallejo man set his ex-girlfriend on fire while driving on an East Bay freeway in 2003, severely burning her and killing her two children, after telling them they'd be buying toys for Christmas, a prosecutor told jurors today.
    Mark Anthony Fregia, 39, could be sentenced to death if convicted of two counts of murder - with the special circumstances of mayhem, multiple murders and kidnapping - along with several other charges in connection with events that killed his ex-girlfriend's son, 6-year-old Devlin Weaver, and the couple's son, Daelin Fregia, 2.
    The mayhem charges were lodged because Fregia's ex-girlfriend, Erin Weaver, was permanently disfigured when Fregia set her ablaze in what authorities said was a jealous rage over her new relationship with another man.
    But Deputy Public Defender David Headley, Fregia's attorney, told jurors that his client, a crack-cocaine abuser, never intended to kill anyone and simply had wanted to scare Weaver.
    "He is not a homicidal domestic abuser," Headley said. "What he is is somebody who can't control his rage real well."
    The attack happened Dec. 18, 2003, when Fregia, while driving his Dodge Colt just off Interstate 80 near Pinole, doused Weaver with gas and set her on fire with two lighters, authorities said.
    Weaver, then 28, was burned over 80 percent of her body as she yanked the steering wheel to the Appian Way off-ramp.
    Motorists saw a screaming Weaver jump from the car and try to extinguish the flames engulfing her, while chasing the burning car as it rolled down an embankment, said Contra Costa County prosecutor Paul Graves.
    "My babies! My babies! He killed my babies!" Weaver yelled, Graves told a six-man, six-woman jury today in his opening statement in Fregia's trial in Martinez.
    Weaver tried to save her two sons, Graves said. "Futile at that point, maybe, but that's what parents do," he said.
    Weaver spent a year in a hospital - much of that time in a coma - and will testify, the prosecutor said.
    As the car with the boys inside burned, Fregia was trying to carjack motorists to get away, Graves said.
    "They saw the defendant - that man sitting right there," Graves said, pointing to Fregia. "They did not see that man attempt in any way to put out the fire."
    When a motorist stopped to help, Fregia forced the driver from her Ford Taurus and drove it to San Francisco, where he was arrested the next day while trying to check into a residential hotel on Turk Street, police said.
    Fregia coaxed Weaver into getting into his car by saying they were going toy shopping for Christmas, Graves said.
    Witnesses told police they had seen the couple fighting, and the car violently swerving, before it pulled off westbound I-80. The vehicle was swerving because Fregia was splashing gasoline on Weaver from a soda bottle that he had asked one of the children to get for him from underneath a car seat, Graves said.
    Police said there had been previous allegations of domestic violence between the couple. Authorities also said Fregia had an extensive criminal history.
    Graves told jurors that Fregia has never shown any remorse.
    But Headley countered, "He is every bit as sorry as anybody in this courtroom." The last thing he wanted was to see the children hurt, the defense attorney said.
    He acknowledged, however, that his client had suffered "tunnel vision" in his attempts to scare Weaver.
    Fregia threatened a previous girlfriend with a knife, Headley conceded, and when he was with Weaver and her children, "he had the wrong weapon and he lost control of it." He said he wasn't making any excuses for Fregia but only trying to provide an explanation for his actions.

    This guy is insane and his lawyer is a huge jacka$$.
  2. Fry him.
  3. So disgusting....
  4. Hope he gets the death sentence for killing those kids, and disfiguring their mother.....psychopath!
  5. Are you kidding me? He just wanted to 'scar' her? He already had a bottle of gasoline in his car! He had it all planned out. Obviously the children would get hurt if he was going to set her on fire while DRIVING on the highway. He deserves the worse.
  6. they should set him on fire.. dummy. how can you do that to anyone?? and if he didnt want to hurt the kids the stupid guy would have known to to 'scare' the mom when the kids were present!
  7. What a lame excuse! I hope he gets the death sentence!
  8. Scum.
  9. I'm Erin Weaver's auntie, and when I googled for updates on the trial, I found your board. The trial continues starting this coming Tuesday, when the defense puts on their *cough* arguments for why Mark should be spared. As a family, we want him to spend the rest of his miserable life sitting in a stinking little cell... and with the moritorium on executions in California right now, it may be a possibility. But all the defense has to do is prove he REALLY didn't mean to kill my great-niece and great-nephew, or intent to maim Erin, and he'll get life. Yeah, I know, he had a container of gasoline in the car, even asked Devlin to hand it to him, and he also held up two (count em, TWO!) lit lighters, but he didn't MEAN to hurt anyone. And I'm the Queen Mum.
    Personally, we are all sickened at how the defense is portraying Mark as someone who simply couldn't get contrl of his anger. He beaten Erin countless times, yet the courts gave him joint custody of Daelin, so Erin had to continue to interact with him. Erin did everything right to get away from her abuser... the courts let her down. She asked for supervised visits and they denied her that.
    If you would like to know more about how our family is dealing and what happens to Mark, please visit my MySpace blog, womanofstone. You need not be a "friend" in order to view it. There are pictures of the kids (in better times) in one of my albums too. My sister-in-law will be calling me every night as the trial resumes to update me.
    I would thank you all for your prayers and well wishes. Erin is obviously still horriblely scarred, she's been changed forever, but she's got the guts and stamina to tell the jury all about what happened. I credit that strength to all the people we don't know who prayed for her and us as a family.
    Best wishes,
  10. Oh Good God. His lawyer is truly a monster. I understand public defenders have a job to do, but his comments are really taking it too far -- plus, they are not going to help his client in any productive way. This man is a monster. HIJACKING MOTORISTS to get away??? On the FREEWAY? Good God.
  11. Torch him. And the lawyer, while they're at it.
  12. "Fregia was splashing gasoline on Weaver from a soda bottle that he had asked one of the children to get for him from underneath a car seat"

    "he had the wrong weapon and he lost control of it"

    Whatever. Perhaps the gasoline was kept in the car for practical reasons, but I highly doubt that was the case with this guy, who has an extensive history of criminal behaviour.
  13. Ah, no, there was no valid reason for Mark to have gas in a soda bottle in the backseat of his car, he carried his son in that same backseat most of the day. (He had his regular unsupervised visit with Daelin that day, I believe he told Erin if she didn't go on the "shopping trip" with him, he wouldn't give Daelin back to her.) You'd think a caring father *cough* would know better. He planned this attack, and what his lawyer says is a bunch of bull, he's trying to lessen Mark's involvement so he won't be put to death. Like you, I have no idea who a lawyer can defend someone like this and still sleep at night.

    This trial is the end result of a classic Domestic Abuse scenerio. Many men just cannot let their former wives, lovers, girlfriends go completely. If anything, the courts let Erin down by forcing her to interact with Mark because of their son. She asked for supervised contact, having them exchange the child at the police station, and they refused. Even after the episode of him dragging her naked in the street after he peeked into her windows and saw her with another man. (Mark was out on bail at the time the fire occured.) Our courts need to take Domestic Violence mush, MUCH more seriously. This case isn't the first, nor I fear will it be the last where DV esculates into murder. And the greater majority of the time, innocent children are the victims as well as their mother.
  14. Sick person. I wonder how the lawyer can live with himself though?
  15. ^^
    i am sorry. cannot even imagine what erin and her family might be going thorugh but i do hope a jury sees through this man's (if we can call him that) lies and gives him the sentence he deserves.