Accused Facebook killer in California claims his confession was AI-generated

Mark Stephen Mechikoff, the man accused of recording a gruesome murder and then posting the video on his Facebook page, claimed his confession was AI-generated.

During his most recent court appearance, the California man accused of recording a murder and then posting the video on his Facebook page claims his confession was actually AI-generated. 

Mark Stephen Mechikoff, 39, of Pacifica, is charged with stabbing Claribel Estrella to death inside her San Mateo apartment on July 26, 2023. Prosecutors said he recorded the entire murder with his cellphone camera, including Estrella’s last moments alive as she bled on her kitchen floor.

This video was then posted to his Facebook page, sparking widespread horror and disbelief.

Mechikoff has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.


KRON 4 reported that during a preliminary hearing inside a San Mateo County courtroom on Friday, prosecutors said that Mechikoff exclaimed to the court that he did kill the victim, but his confession was “generated by AI (artificial intelligence).” 

On the day of the killing, some of Mechikoff’s Facebook friends watched the extremely gruesome video, including a Florida woman who called law enforcement authorities. The caller said she had just watched a video of a woman covered in blood and lying on the ground. 

The stabbing was also first reported to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada when a caller said she saw the video on Facebook. The sheriff’s office “pinged” the phone number associated with the Facebook page and traced it to a large San Mateo apartment complex.

Officers there went door-to-door and found Estrella nearly three hours later inside a unit, authorities said. Police said Mechikoff knew her but have not described how.

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District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told KRON 4 previously that the Facebook post was evidence that the accused killer “felt a certain pride” in the crime.

On Friday, Mechikoff’s defense attorneys made a motion to postpone the hearing because they needed more time to prepare. The hearing was rescheduled for 9 a.m. on March 21.

Mechikoff remains locked up in jail with no bail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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