Crime, Fire + Courts

Delays sought in Davis murder cases

By From page A1 | October 13, 2013

WOODLAND — All three of Davis’ pending homicide cases appeared on the Yolo Superior Court calendar Friday morning, with defense attorneys in two of the matters seeking postponements of scheduled hearing dates.

The attorney for Daniel William Marsh, the Davis teen accused of killing an elderly couple in their Cowell Boulevard condominium, has filed a motion stating he needs more time to prepare for trial beyond the 60-day time frame being sought by the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.

Deputy Public Defender Ron Johnson said in court Friday that some of his justification for seeking a continuance falls under attorney-client privilege and will be filed in a declaration under seal. Judge Steven Mock plans to rule on the request on Oct. 17.

Marsh, 16, is accused of fatally stabbing Oliver “Chip” Northup, 87, and his wife Claudia Maupin, 76, on the morning of April 14. He has pleaded not guilty.

His case will return to court on Nov. 1 for another hearing to determine whether some of the special-circumstance allegations in the case — which include multiple murders, torture and lying in wait — should be dismissed, as Johnson said he plans to argue in a motion due to be filed later this week.

Also postponed Friday was this week’s scheduled preliminary hearing for 29-year-old Aquelin Crystal Talamantes, the mother accused of assaulting her 5-year-old daughter Tatianna Garcia in the family’s South Davis home, then putting the girl’s lifeless body into her car trunk and driving to Sacramento on Sept. 26.

Talamantes also has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include murder and assault on a child causing death.

Her attorney, Supervising Deputy Public Defender Sally Fredericksen, filed a motion last week stating that she had only recently received about 1,200 pages of discovery in the case, none of which included the “at least 24 discs of recorded material” compiled by police investigators.

Judge David Reed found there was good cause to delay the hearing, which is now set for Nov. 14.

One case, meanwhile, appears to be moving forward — that of James Elron Mings, charged in connection with the October 2011 choking death of Davis resident Kevin Gerard Seery in the victim’s J Street apartment.

Mings, who claims he assisted the ailing Seery in taking his own life, was acquitted of both first- and second-degree murder but convicted of attempted murder at his first trial last May. The jury deadlocked, however, on whether the crime was premeditated, a determination that would affect the length of Mings’ prison sentence.

A retrial on the premeditation issue is set to begin Tuesday — but only if there’s an available courtroom, Judge Mock told attorneys on Friday.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Lauren Keene

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