Saturday, June 3, 2023

‘He’s Not an Evil Person, Just Someone in Need of Help’: Mother of Man Convicted Ukiah Arson Fires Speaks Out in Letter to the Editor


Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion section. This specific submission was written in response to a press release published by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office. For context, click this link.

To submit yours for consideration, please send to matthewplafever@gmail.com. Please consider including an image to be used–either a photograph of you or something applicable to the letter. However, an image is not necessary for publication.

Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of MendoFever nor have we checked the letters for accuracy.


If my son had a good attorney he would have been at a state facility for his mental problems and the attorney would have made damn sure the District Attorney didn’t scare him into taking a plea on the other eight fires.

Guess my son is a supervillain and able to leap over buildings and fly at unbelievable speeds to get around town and start 12 fires.

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I have seen other arsonists on here that got three yrs tops for fires! My son does have mental problems and was insane at the time but the DA doesn’t want that to be considered. It’s not like he burned down homes or killed anyone, murderers get less time!

Some called him a “Pos”? Anyone that knows my son will tell you he is a respectable man and will give his last dollar to someone in need! But unfortunately, like so many others in this town, alcohol brings out the buried demons.

My son should be on his way to Napa state hospital, not prison!! When he was a boy his mother and father weren’t around to protect him from the evils in the world and the influence of older drug addicts and alcoholics! He’s been crying out for help for a long time, his parents failed him as a boy, the system failed him and now his public defender is failing him!

Like I said, IF we had money, he would already be getting the help he needs, but here we are! He’s not an evil person, just someone in need of help!

-Dezra Williams, mother-figure of Alberto Vincent Acosta

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  1. Can you ask for another public defender? Does he have a councilor or psychologist that he see to establish that he has mental illness? It’s important to know your rights . It would help if you have people that know your son and can write a letter on his behalf statement of facts that your son has mental illness. Does your son receive any SSI benefits will also establish his medical illness.

  2. “When he was a boy his mother and father weren’t around to protect him from the evils in the world and the influence of older drug addicts and alcoholics! He’s been crying out for help for a long time, his parents failed him as a boy, the system failed him and now his public defender is failing him!”
    And this is written by his mother? In the third person? If the perp is merely a victim, where does the buck actually stop?

      • I read this as she is the mother. But let’s talk about this whether she is mom or just a figure. I couldn’t agree more this person should be in a facility. Unfortunately that goes against liberal policy. A liberal federal judge ruled you have a right to be homeless. I do not know if this gentleman is homeless but this ruling created more people with mental illness to be present in public and not receive help. Most of the arson in our community have been homeless people. This failure lands upon our elected officials who do nothing in each city and county. The one problem I have is this mom or mother figure says she failed him but complains when someone else in her opinion fails him. This letter is pushing the blame. He is lucky no one has died in the nine arsons he has taken responsibility for. One thing is for sure he does not need to be a free man. Cashless bail, emptying prisons and light sentences for convicted criminals, thanks liberals.

  3. I totally agree with you Call it as I see it! It is the justice systems fault for not evaluating him and taking the steps necessary to get him the help he needs. It’s also the go nerd fault for shutting down all the mental hospital s that would help people. The governor in office now is a joke and should have been shoved out of office this last election not allowed to cheat his way back in. This state is a failure in a whole and people who are tired of should step up and start voicing it.

  4. I read it as she adopted him cause his birth parents had issues

    Once again TRAUMA and PTSD and adverse childhood experience create a tortured soul who turns to substances to escape. Where are the boots on the ground for this war on mental health?

  5. 12 fires?? It seems to me that starting 12 fires takes some type of brainpower and inner knowledge, tact also, to get accomplished. Which means he probably isn’t as insane as you think he is. Also, if his public pretender wasn’t doing his job, I’m certain you and he are aware that you can fire said sluggish PD and have a new one provided. And if this new one isn’t cutting it, you all can fire all the rest of the new PDs until you all are satisfied with his/her work ethic and efforts to clear your son’s name. Believe me, I feel your anguish at the outcome of all this madness that has incurred in your family’s life as a result of his actions, but there are some big inconsistencies and blunders in the defense of your son. It truly is a farce, this one sided pathetic court system we sadly have to put up with. And I wish and pray some resolve and kindness to your family and your son as well. Only the very rich, or politicians get to have the right to be “innocent until proven guilty”, as it’s stated in every court system and situation in this country. I’m sorry for your loss Ma’am. Hopefully, your son does some good things while in prison, become a model inmate, take classes, and finds the Lord in his heart. You never know, perhaps being locked up will settle him down and he can turn this negative around and he can return to society a changed and humbly blessed man, which believe it or not, is very very attainable within the four walls of prison. Good luck and God bless you and yours.

    • He took a plea for nine. Four or twelve, does it really matter? This only shows he is dangerous to be free in society.

  6. If u do the crime then do the time it is time in this country for people who commit crimes, be held accountable. period no excuses.I also believe it is time to bring back the death penalty in California start putting the criminals to death for their horrible crimes.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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