Q: What is the name of the ex-athlete that killed his pregnant wife and son? I believe he lived in Elk Grove. I think it happened maybe 15 or 20 years ago. Is he still in prison and where?
Ms Diva, Sacramento
A: Mariet Timothy Ford, a former University of California, Berkeley, football star was sentenced to 45 years to life in prison for the January 1997 murder of his pregnant wife, 3-year-old boy and unborn son.
He was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder and arson for beating his son Mariet Jr. and wife, 31-year-old Teresita “Tessie” Ford to death, then using gasoline to torch their bodies as they lay on the dining room floor of their new Laguna Creek home. Mariet Ford was arrested six months after the killings,
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He was sentenced to the maximum possible punishment despite his attorney’s pleas for mercy because Ford had no criminal history.
According to stories in The Sacramento Bee, the prosecution portrayed Ford as an unfaithful husband, stressed out by financial problems and resentful about his wife’s unplanned pregnancy.
Ford, in testimony, denied committing the killings, telling jurors he loved his family and was a successful salesman for a telecommunications firm. He said the real killer probably was a burglar.
Ford, now 54, is incarcerated at Folsom State Prison.