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Blood Said to Corroborate Skateboarder’s Confession

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Blood found in the Carlsbad home of world-renowned skateboard champion Mark (Gator) Anthony matches that of Jessica Bergsten, the young woman he is charged with raping and killing, a prosecuting attorney said Friday.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Greg Walden said blood samples taken from the living room and bedroom were analyzed by Sheriff’s Department experts.

“We compared them, and they in fact matched,” said Walden, who is prosecuting the 24-year-old skateboarder for allegedly killing Bergsten, 21, in his condominium March 20 and burying her body in the desert.

It was unclear Friday night whether it was a blood-type match or if DNA screening had been used to identify it as Bergsten’s blood.

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Police say Anthony voluntarily confessed to taking Bergsten home, beating her and handcuffing and raping her before stuffing her into a surfboard bag and burying her in a shallow grave off Interstate 8 in Ocotillo, Imperial County.

Matching the blood provides physical evidence that “corroborates what Mr. Anthony says,” according to Walden.

He said he will meet next week with Dist. Atty. Edwin Miller to discuss whether prosecutors should add special circumstances to the charges against Anthony, who had changed his name from Mark Rogowski.

The special circumstances of committing homicide during a rape could bring the death penalty if Anthony is convicted of first-degree murder.

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In the meantime, a new document on file at Vista Municipal Court, where Anthony’s preliminary hearing is scheduled June 17, details the crime that authorities allege was prompted by revenge.

Walden said at Anthony’s arraignment earlier this month that the defendant acted out of anger over the breakup with his girlfriend, Brandi McLain, which he blamed on her best friend, Bergsten.

According to Walden, Anthony had “contemplated” slaying McLain, but instead took out his anger on Bergsten, a native of Tucson, Ariz., who moved to Pacific Beach shortly before she died.

The court document, a search warrant, stated that, on May 9, McLain told Carlsbad Police Detective Don De Tar “that Anthony had threatened her life around December, 1990, and that shortly thereafter her residence was burglarized and property stolen.”

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The property, according to the warrant, consisted of photographs of Anthony and McLain together, papers and clothes he

had given her during their relationship.

Bergsten was reported missing March 22, and campers discovered her skeletal remains April 10.

According to authorities, Anthony, who had become a born-again Christian, wanted to confess to the killing and contacted San Diego police. Carlsbad’s De Tar was brought into the investigation to enter Anthony’s condominium to look for evidence.

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In the search warrant, De Tar reported that Anthony had met Bergsten for lunch and took her to his residence in Carlsbad. Then he allegedly took a metal bar used to lock his car’s steering wheel and hit her on the head three times.

Then, the warrant continued, he bound her wrists and ankles, carried her upstairs to the bedroom, where he cut her clothes away with scissors, and “then had sexual intercourse with Bergsten for approximately three hours.”

The police account continued that “Bergsten was making too much noise by talking and calling out to him, so Anthony put her in a surfboard bag. Bergsten then started screaming, so Anthony choked her to death.”

Later, according to police, Anthony led police to the site where the victim was buried.

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Investigators found bloodstains on the living-room carpet and the mattress in the upstairs bedroom of Anthony’s house.


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