Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Ruling due on Marsh murder confession

By
From page A1 | February 23, 2014 | 2 Comments

Marsh Daniel newW

Daniel William Marsh, 16, his wrists shackled in handcuffs, is accompanied by probation officers to a courtroom holding cell Sept. 14 in preparation for his preliminary hearing for the April 13 murders of Oliver "Chip" Northup, 87, and Claudia Maupin, 76, of Davis. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise file photo

A Yolo Superior Court judge is slated to rule this week whether a Davis teen’s alleged confession to the brutal murders of an elderly couple should be a part of the defendant’s upcoming trial proceedings.

Yolo County prosecutors say a bid by Daniel Marsh’s defense attorneys to toss out the alleged admission should be denied, arguing that law-enforcement officers used neither coercion nor false promises of leniency to elicit details about the April 14, 2013, slayings of Oliver “Chip” Northup and Claudia Maupin, as Marsh’s lawyers contend.

Instead, Marsh confessed after officers said they would compare Marsh’s DNA to evidence collected from the crime scene, and would analyze his cell phone to determine his whereabouts at the time of the murders, Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Cabral says in an opposition motion filed late last week.

“(T)he defendant decided to confess because he believed it was pointless to resist in light of all the evidence against him, not because of any promises of leniency,” Cabral wrote. “Just before the defendant started making incriminating statements about having wanted to kill people since he was 10 years old, (he) said, ‘I’m f—– either way, aren’t I?’ ”

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday in Judge David Reed’s courtroom. Marsh’s trial is set to begin the week of March 10.

Police have said the 16-year-old admitted to repeatedly stabbing Northup, 87, and Maupin, 76, after sneaking into their Cowell Boulevard condominium through an open window. He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, along with the special-circumstance allegations of multiple murders, torture and lying in wait, for which he is being tried as an adult.

He was arrested on June 17, two days after being identified as a suspect in the homicide case.

In a motion to suppress the alleged confession filed Feb. 6, deputy public defenders Ron Johnson and Andrea Pelochino say their client was taken to the Davis police station under the false pretense of filling out paperwork for a youth diversion program, then delivered a Miranda warning that was “excessively casual” before being questioned for several hours about the murders by Davis Police Detective Ariel Pineda and FBI Agent Chris Campion.

The defense also claimed that Marsh was promised leniency in the form of juvenile-court prosecution or psychiatric hospitalization, but only in exchange for a confession, rendering his statements involuntary and thus inadmissible in court.

But according to Cabral, authorities were up-front about Marsh’s rights from the beginning, starting with Davis Police Officer Eddie Ellsworth’s statement that “you know you don’t have to come with me, right?” as he gave the teen a ride from a friend’s house to the police station.

At the station, Ellsworth read Marsh his rights not casually but “in a loud, clear and firm tone of voice,” asking several times whether the teen understood the Miranda warning, the prosecutor noted, adding that Marsh “expressly waived his right to remain silent” by agreeing to speak to Pineda.

Marsh was not under arrest during the interview, which Cabral described as “friendly in nature and continued with the defendant’s willing cooperation.”

“The interviewers checked on multiple occasions to see that the defendant was comfortable by offering food and drink, asking if he needed bathroom breaks, and even giving him an opportunity to make a phone call,” Cabral wrote. “Given the circumstances, even a much younger defendant would not have believed he was in custody.”

As for the assertion that Marsh was taken to the police station under false pretenses, Cabral said the teen “did in fact have an unresolved case concerning a knife found in his possession at school.” But higher courts also have ruled that the use of deception doesn’t necessarily render a confession invalid.

“(P)olice can flat-out lie to the defendant as long as the deception is not of a type reasonably likely to produce an untrue statement,” Cabral wrote. Talk of juvenile-court prosecution and hospitalization were not promises of leniency, but rather observations of “the benefits flowing naturally from a truthful statement.”

Cabral also disputes the defense’s claim that Marsh’s youth made him naive to police interview strategies, noting that the teen had been questioned by an officer regarding the knife incident the month before. But his knowledge of the subject also went back several years to 2010, when Marsh spent five months in the Davis Police Department’s cadet service program and underwent extensive training in various law-enforcement tactics.

“The defendant’s understanding of police procedures was exemplified by his questioning of the officers in detail about whether he was under arrest and whether he could go home pending further investigation,” Cabral wrote.

Marsh has pleaded not guilty to the allegations against him. He remains in Yolo County Juvenile Hall custody while his case is pending.

— Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich RifkinFebruary 23, 2014 - 9:18 am

    Lauren, do you know if, when the DPD interrogated Daniel Marsh, the colloquy was recorded? And if so, was it done by audio alone or by video with sound? It seems to me that it should be mandatory for the police to always video-record an interview with a suspect in a felony. Doing so would allow the court to fairly decide if the defendant was misled into confessing. I also think that if the police fail to make a recording of such an exchange, the burden to introduce any evidence from their interview should be much higher than it would be with a full recording.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Lauren KeeneFebruary 23, 2014 - 11:43 am

    Yes, the Davis Police Department video-recorded the interview, as is standard. Judge Reed will be viewing that recording for consideration in his ruling.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

 
4-H members prepare for Spring Show

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

Food insecurity remains an issue for many county residents

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
 
Youth sports in focus on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rummage sale will benefit preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Concert benefits South Korea exchange

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Conference puts focus on Arab studies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Water rate assistance bill advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Program explores STEM careers for girls

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

High-five to Union Bank

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Broken sprinklers waste water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Three more administrators?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Neustadt has experience for the job

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Davis is fair, thoughtful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

The high cost of employment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

By Evan Ream | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Congressional art competition open to high school students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6