Thursday, October 2, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Friend: Teen murder suspect was often bullied

By
From page A1 | June 21, 2013 |

Daniel Marsh, who just finished his sophomore year at Davis High School, was bullied mercilessly in junior high school, a friend says. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

Daniel Marsh earned straight A’s in school, and he enjoyed attending classes. But Holmes Junior High School was, for the most part, an unpleasant place for him, according to a close friend of the Davis teen arrested this week on suspicion of killing an elderly couple.

“It was horrible. They basically tortured him,” the friend said of youths who frequently teased the shy, quiet Marsh over his appearance — his short stature, his weight and his pale skin. “He hated going to school, to a place where kids bullied him.”

While the abuse was mostly verbal, occasionally it turned physical, with kids throwing rocks and trash at the boy on school grounds, the friend recalled in an interview Thursday. No one intervened, and Marsh didn’t report the bullying, because “if you go against the popular people, your life is hell, basically.”

Depressed and anorexic, Marsh spent some time in a psychiatric facility during this past school year, just a few months before the murders, according to the friend. At first, he seemed better upon his return.

“He came back smiling and everything, but then he went back into a depressed state.”

The friend, who said she was a target of bullying herself, spoke on condition of anonymity, saying she fears possible repercussions from Marsh’s friends in retaliation for speaking out.

When she heard about Marsh’s arrest Monday on suspicion of fatally stabbing Davis residents Oliver “Chip” Northup, 87, and his wife Claudia Maupin, 76, “I was like, whoa,” the friend said. “I could see him doing something like that, but I didn’t think he actually would.”

Marsh, 16, is being charged as an adult with two counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances alleging multiple murders, heinous and depraved murder, lying in wait and torture. He pleaded not guilty to the charges during his arraignment Wednesday in Yolo Superior Court.

“We are dismayed to hear this report since we take great care to create a positive school climate and to monitor student behavior,” said Pam Mari, executive director of student services and secondary programs for the Davis Joint Unified School District, in response to the bullying allegations. “We cannot comment further but we do take these matters seriously and will conduct our own investigation.”

The friend said Marsh underwent a change in image as he transitioned from junior high to Davis High School, wearing dark clothing, growing out his hair, experimenting with marijuana and conducting rituals that she perceived as “satanist.”

“He decided to go bad-ass, do the whole punk thing,” she said. But while the transformation earned Marsh more friends, he still harbored a great deal of anger and depression.

The friend said Marsh already was fighting those demons when, at age 12, he was honored by the American Red Cross of Yolo County for saving his father Bill Marsh’s life as he suffered from a heart attack at the wheel of his car.

By then, Marsh was receiving part of his education through the Davis School for Independent Study, an alternative learning program offered by the Davis school district that allows students to conduct some — or all — of their studies at home, an arrangement Marsh sought out because of the constant bullying, his friend said.

Marsh’s parents had ended their marriage by that point, “but it was never about the divorce,” she said of the boy’s troubles. He was more affected by his parents’ respective health problems — including his mother Sheri Hosking’s battle with cancer — and “he was always stressed out.”

Both parents have declined to be interviewed by The Enterprise.

There were no obvious red flags during the four years that Marsh received martial arts instruction from Baciarini’s Martial Arts in Davis, where according to owner and chief instructor Richard Baciarini, the boy would have learned techniques to defend himself both physically and mentally.

“That’s my chief aim, to empower people to be confident and live their best lives through martial arts,” Baciarini said. When it comes to issues such as bullying, the program teaches students “to deal with it in a professional and positive way. Do you believe what they’re saying and let it get to you, or know that they’re just trying to get a reaction?”

Although it’s been several years since Marsh walked through Baciarini’s doors, the owner remembers him as an “average student, quiet, polite and respectful.”

“I’m still kind of in disbelief that this happened,” Baciarini said of Marsh’s arrest. “I have no idea what motives would have driven him to where he is now.”

“It’s just tragic, because I know all of these people, and Oliver was just a really great guy,” said Marsh’s friend, who recalled seeing both Northup and Marsh at the same party celebrating a historic Davis structure several years ago, though it’s not clear whether they interacted. “They (Northup and Maupin) were very nice, smart people, and they liked to enjoy life.”

Marsh’s next court date is July 2. He remains held without bail at Yolo County Juvenile Hall.

Although Marsh is believed to be the sole suspect in the slayings, Davis police say they are continuing their investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department at 530-747-5400.

— Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene. Enterprise staff writer Anne Ternus-Bellamy contributed to this report.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Sunder wants to expand opportunities for all

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

     
    At Davis intersections, let’s be careful out there

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: C2 | Gallery

     
    Sunder supporters gather on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Trokanski discusses new project on ‘Davisville’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Learn more about Boy Scouts during upcoming events

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Third-graders face high-stakes reading targets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

     
    Learn how to ride a bike in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Feinstein, Boxer depend on red-leaning Senate races

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A3

     
    Gallery hosts poetry night

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Oktoberfest features Grand Isle Fire Brigade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Archer event set for Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Per Capita: Tales from the back burner

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

     
    Sunflower power at the Winters Community Library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tour gives opportunity to watch moonrise in the bypass

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    UC campuses aim to be more inclusive to LGBT students

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Check out Soroptimists at info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Register to vote by Oct. 20

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Helping disabled ag workers stay in agriculture

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Parenting advice on radio show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Unitrans persists through changing times

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: C6 | Gallery

     
    Up for a fun day trip? Take a bike to Bike Dog

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: C8 | Gallery

    Volunteers are trained to help with train questions

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    There are plenty of fun activities around town

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: C13 | Gallery

    Getting from here to there by buses, planes and trains

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C14 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Feeling shunned after tragedy

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    A true vision for peace

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Drivers, just follow the rules

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Let’s fix the park deck

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    ‘Maupin’s Law’ 2.0: Prevention is better than punishment

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Choose Archer, Sunder, Adams

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Barbara Archer for school board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Vote for change on board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Poppenga considers all students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Climate change is coming for you

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Despite 168 points allowed, PSU defense may not be lousy

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Bumgarner, Crawford help Giants slam Bucs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Cheung paces Devils past Pacers on the pitch

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    DHS JV runners shine in varsity events

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Youth roundup: Diamonds swing to victories at Vineyard Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: DHS girls tennis goes three for three

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Davis robotics team pays it forward

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    Natsoulas to host mural conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    Wineaux: Picking the last rosé of summer

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

    Odd Fellows to screen classic Westerns

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Robbie Fulks will visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Old Macs get new life at art exhibit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Woodland Opera House rounds up cowboy poetry, music

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Music for brass, choir and organ set at DCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, October 2, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6