- The Washington Times - Monday, July 21, 2003

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A registered sex offender released on probation after a child-rape case last year was charged with murdering a girl to silence her screams in the theater where he worked.

Dominic Akers, 22, was arrested Saturday after police found the victim in a storage area where Akers said he had hidden her body, according to an affidavit filed with the arrest warrant.

Akers told police he strangled the girl Wednesday after she broke away from what the 380-pound custodian believed would be a sexual encounter in a third-floor projection area of the Sunshine Theatre, the affidavit says.

He said he choked her until she lost consciousness and, when she recovered and began screaming, choked her to death, believing “he had to kill her because he did not want to go back to jail,” the document says.

A day later, it says, “he dragged her body into a storage room that no one uses and covered the entrance with a Coke-candy machine.”

A 16-year-old Santa Fe girl, Marissa Mathy-Zvaifler, had been reported missing after attending a hip-hop concert Wednesday at the Sunshine Theatre. Her family was notified of the discovery, Lt. Bob Huntsman said Sunday, but the body was not formally identified as hers.

“She was the most beautiful, wonderful girl. She was the light of my life,” said her father, Tony Mathy, reached by phone Sunday.

Around 10 a.m. Saturday, Frank Akers, the defendant’s father, flagged down a passing police officer, saying the family of the missing girl needed to know her body was still at the theater, according to the affidavit. During the subsequent ride to police headquarters, Mr. Akers’ son told officers about her death, it says.

The girl had wanted to meet the band backstage, Akers told officers. He said he “flipped out” when she pulled away from him and began choking her, the affidavit says.

A Sunshine employee referred calls seeking comment to the theater’s attorney.

The warrant charging Akers with murder was signed by state District Judge James Blackmer on Saturday. He was also charged with kidnapping, tampering with evidence and aggravated battery. He remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail.

Akers, who was required to register as a sex offender, lives in a downtown halfway house called Second Chance with 16 other registered sex offenders, Sheriff Darren White said. Akers’ status had just been checked by sheriff’s deputies Saturday, Sheriff White said.

Court records show that Akers pleaded guilty to rape and child-molestation charges in 2002. Marc Gordon, a public defender who represented Akers in that case, involving a young family member of Akers’, said he was surprised to learn of new charges against Akers. He said he had believed that Akers had been working toward rehabilitation.

Akers pleaded guilty in March 2002 to three counts of second-degree criminal sexual penetration and one count each of third-degree criminal sexual contact of a minor and bribery of a witness, according to the state court system’s Web site.

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