Friday, December 26, 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

     
    Pastor has many plans for CA House

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Exchange students bring the world to Davis

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Transit survey: 47 percent ride bikes to campus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Special holiday gifts

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A3

     
    Woodland-Davis commute bus service expands

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Learn fruit tree tips at free class

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Davis Bike Club hears about British cycling tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pick up a Davis map at Chamber office

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explorit: Get a rise out of science

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

     
    NAMI meeting offers family support

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yoga, chanting intro offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    How much for the calling birds?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Steve Sack cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    Many ensured a successful parade

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Thanks for putting food on the table

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Two more for the road for 9-1 Aggie men

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Patterson is college football’s top coach

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Clippers get a win over Golden State

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    NBA roundup: Heat beat Cavs in LeBron’s return to Miami

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Unbroken': A bit underwhelming

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Folk musicians will jam on Jan. 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Passat: Roomy, affordable sedan with German engineering

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    James J. Dunning Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Floyd W. Fenocchio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, December 26, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7

     
    Comics: Thursday, December 26, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A9