WOODLAND — Teen murder suspect Daniel Marsh’s trial has been postponed from next week to late August in light of his recent change of plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.
Yolo Superior Court Judge David Reed granted the continuance Monday at the request of Marsh’s defense attorney, Deputy Public Defender Ron Johnson, who last week filed a motion saying additional time would be needed to investigate mental state defenses for what is expected to be a two-part trial comprising guilt and sanity phases.
Marsh, 17, is charged as an adult with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the April 14, 2013, stabbing deaths of Davis residents Oliver “Chip” Northup, 87, and his wife Claudia Maupin, 76, who were slain in the bedroom of their Cowell Boulevard condominium.
Among the avenues being explored by the defense is a Tumblr account (Tumblr is an online microblogging platform) belonging to Marsh that, according to Johnson’s continuance motion, “contains a voluminous number of postings by the defendant before and after the time of the alleged events in this case.”
Johnson did not elaborate as to the nature of the postings, but noted that the password required to access the account was only recently provided by the prosecution.
The Marsh case also will be back in court Friday for the conditional examination of a prosecution witness who may not be available to appear during the trial, Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Cabral said. He declined to identify the witness.
Reed also said that one of the two mental-health experts tapped last week to evaluate Marsh — Dr. Jason Roof, an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at UC Davis — is no longer available to participate in the case. That development also is expected to be discussed at Friday’s hearing.
— Reach Lauren Keene at email@example.com or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene