Crime, Fire + Courts

Marsh trial delayed due to insanity plea

By From page A1 | June 06, 2014

Marsh Daniel newW

Daniel Marsh is escorted to the Yolo Superior Court for a hearing earlier this year on charges that he murdered an elderly Davis couple last April. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise file photo

WOODLAND — Daniel Marsh’s trial on charges of fatally stabbing an elderly Davis couple last April has been delayed again.

Yolo Superior Court Judge David Reed vacated the June 16 trial date on Thursday in the wake of Marsh changing his plea earlier this week to not guilty by reason of insanity.

The delay allows time for two court-appointed mental health experts — James Rokop and Jason Roof — to independently evaluate Marsh, as required by law.

Roof is an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at UC Davis and Rokop has a private practice in Davis and is a clinical and forensic psychologist with the California Department of State Hospitals.

Reed said Thursday that Rokop would need 20 to 30 days to complete a psychiatric evaluation of Marsh and that Roof would not have a report ready until July 3.

Marsh’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Ron Johnson, suggested a mid-August trial date on Thursday in order to accommodate one of his witnesses who would have scheduling conflicts in mid- and late-July, but Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Cabral requested something earlier.

Both sides will return to court on Monday when Reed is expected to set a new trial date.

The delay in trial proceedings is not the first in the double murder case and was expected in the wake of Marsh’s changed plea.

The Davis teen is accused of killing Davis attorney and musician Oliver “Chip” Northup, 87, and his wife Claudia Maupin, 76, in the bedroom of their Cowell Boulevard condominium on April 14, 2013.

Marsh is being tried as an adult on two counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstances of multiple murders, lying in wait and torture.

Marsh, who was 15 years old at the time of the murders, had been hospitalized in a mental-health facility several months before the murders and, according to testimony from a Davis police detective at Marsh’s preliminary hearing, admitted harboring the urge to kill since the age of 10.

He had originally pleaded not guilty to killing Northup and Maupin, but changed his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity on Monday — two weeks before the scheduled start of his trial.

The plea change means his trial will be composed of two phases — the first determining whether he is guilty of the charges and the second, if he is found guilty, to determine whether he was legally sane at the time.

The parties will be back in court at 9 a.m. on Monday, when Reed is expected to set a new trial date.

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at [email protected] or 530-747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

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