UPDATE: The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday afternoon that the 16-year-old boy accused of murdering Davis residents Oliver “Chip” Northup and Claudia Maupin has been charged as an adult.
Daniel William Marsh faces two counts of first-degree murder with enhancements for use of a deadly weapon, plus four special-circumstance counts alleging multiple murders, heinous and depraved murder, lying in wait and torture.
The three-page complaint also says that Marsh was 15 years old at the time of the crimes, which were committed on April 13, a day before the victims were found stabbed to death in their Cowell Boulevard condominium.
Marsh, who is being held without bail at Yolo County Juvenile Hall, is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Yolo Superior Court.
Yellow crime-scene tape and police cars returned to the 4000 block of Cowell Boulevard on Monday, this time two doors down from the condominium where an elderly couple were found brutally stabbed to death on April 14.
By Monday evening, Davis police had announced the arrest of a 16-year-old boy in connection with the murders of longtime attorney Oliver “Chip” Northup and his wife, Claudia Maupin, saying they had received “compelling information” pointing them toward the teenager.
Assistant Police Chief Darren Pytel declined to release the boy’s name because he is a minor, but confirmed he is a Davis resident who attends a local school.
“At this point there are no other suspects,” Pytel told reporters at the Davis police station, where the teen was taken into custody shortly before 6 p.m. He was expected to be lodged at Yolo County Juvenile Hall later that night.
Pytel would not specify the information that led investigators to the teen, chalking up the break in the case to “good, old-fashioned police work.” He also declined to say whether the alleged murder weapon had been recovered or if a motive had been established.
News of the arrest came as a relief to Northup’s family, who as the investigation stretched from days to weeks to months began to question whether the case would ever be solved.
“I was really relieved, because I thought, this part’s over,” Mary Northup, Oliver Northup’s daughter and Maupin’s stepdaughter, said in an interview at her North Davis home Monday night. “We can get together now to support each other in mourning, instead of supporting each other through a murder investigation.”
She said the suspect is not a member of either Northup’s or Maupin’s families, although both victims’ relatives were questioned extensively during the two-month probe.
Under California law, the teen could be charged in criminal court as an adult, though officials with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office said Monday that decision won’t be made until they receive the police reports in the case.
“Once we receive them, we’ll review them, and then we’ll make a charging decision,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven said. If prosecuted in adult court, the boy likely would be arraigned on Wednesday, he added.
Two homes searched
Inklings of a development in the double-homicide case arose Monday afternoon as an FBI crime-scene truck was spotted backed up to the condominium at 4018 Cowell Blvd., two units east of the two-bedroom condo where Northup, 87, and Maupin, 76, were found slain on the night of April 14.
Northup, guitarist and lead singer for the Putah Creek Crawdads, a popular local folk band, had failed to show up for two performances earlier in the day, prompting one of Maupin’s daughters to request a welfare check from Davis police.
As the search warrant was being executed on Cowell Boulevard, a second also was being served less than a mile away at 3306 Lillard Drive, a tidy gray-and-white house where officers dressed in white protective coveralls were seen inside the home, as well as in the garage stacked with storage totes, cardboard boxes and Halloween decorations.
In addition to the FBI, the state Department of Justice, Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, West Sacramento and Dixon police departments assisted with serving the warrants. Pytel would not specify whether any additional locations were searched.
Interviews with neighbors of the residences indicate a man once lived in the now-vacant Cowell Boulevard condo, while a woman occupies the Lillard Drive home. The neighbors reported seeing a teenage boy and girl — believed to be siblings — at both of the homes.
Greg Gibbs, whose own condo sits between Northup and Maupin’s home and the one searched on Monday, said 4018 Cowell Blvd. was owned by an elderly woman who rented it to a man he came to know as “Bill.” Gibbs said he appeared to be the teenagers’ father.
“I very rarely saw the son,” Gibbs said. He occasionally saw the boy ride up on a bike or skateboard, but “the last six or nine months, I don’t think I’ve seen him at all.”
Gibbs said the condo’s owner died about a week before the murders, and her family decided to put the residence up for sale a few weeks later. That’s about the time that “Bill” packed up and left, he said.
“As far as I know it was the only reason he moved out,” not because of unease over the slayings, Gibbs said.
Over on Lillard Drive, Monday’s police activity shook up neighbors already on edge over a series of recent burglaries that occurred on the South Davis street earlier this year.
“I’m just wondering, what happened inside that house?” said Debra Fabiani, who watched from her front walkway as police removed evidence from the home across the street. “It makes me a little concerned, because Davis as a rule is pretty nice.”
Although there were signs of forced entry at Northup and Maupin’s condominium, police have said they don’t believe burglary was a motive in the April murders.
Still, the investigation is far from over.
“The feeling right now is there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Pytel, the assistant police chief. “Pretty much everyone in the building is still working diligently on this case.”
Mary Northup, meanwhile, said it’s “hard to imagine” why a 16-year-old boy would have targeted the couple, who were active in their church and had no apparent enemies.
“I’m worried that they saw this kid do something, or that he thinks they saw him,” she said. She also has mixed feelings as to whether the boy should face adult criminal charges — something her father, an appellate attorney whose work aided prison inmates, may have frowned upon.
“My dad would say, ‘At 16, they should know better, but they can’t think clearly,’ ” Northup said with a wistful smile. “If this person did it, they need to make compensation, or get better if this is someone who needs mental health help.
“But I’m not into revenge, and I don’t think my father would be into revenge,” she added.
One of the last juveniles to be charged as an adult with multiple counts of murder in Yolo County was Leroy Lowery, whose 1993 case shares some similarities with the Davis homicides.
Lowery also was just 16 when he was accused of viciously stabbing two elderly people — his grandmother, Viola Lowery, and her caretaker, Minerva “Beryl” Segur — at Viola Lowery’s North Cleveland Street home in Woodland, reportedly robbing them of $80 while high on drugs.
Segur, 71, died at the scene; 72-year-old Viola Lowery, who managed to crawl onto her front porch and was discovered by a neighbor, died from her injuries several weeks later.
A jury convicted Lowery of both murders in the spring of 1994. He was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole, and was later convicted of fatally strangling his Pelican Bay State Prison cellmate in 1997.
— Reach Lauren Keene at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene