Crime, Fire + Courts

Tensions rise over evidence sharing in Marsh homicide case

By From page A2 | August 19, 2014

WOODLAND — The chief prosecutor in a Davis double homicide has demanded that sanctions be imposed on defense attorneys in the case, alleging that they have failed to hand over discovery materials in a timely manner as required by law.

Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Cabral made the request in Yolo Superior Court on Monday during a trial-readiness conference for Daniel Marsh, the 17-year-old Davis boy accused of fatally stabbing Oliver “Chip” Northup, 87, and his wife Claudia Maupin, 76, in their Cowell Boulevard condominium last year.

At issue was a one-page summary of a report prepared by the defense’s expert witness Dr. James Merikangas, a Maryland-based neurologist and psychiatrist, which “lists quite a bit of information that I do not have,” Cabral said, citing Marsh’s school and psychological records, the results of an MRI scan of the teen’s brain and interviews with his family.

Cabral told Judge David Reed he is entitled to see the materials Merikangas reviewed to prepare his report and asked that they be handed over to him by this Tuesday afternoon.

“I would ask that counsel cooperate with each other to disclose what should be disclosed,” Reed said, though did not immediately order sanctions — a penalty, usually monetary, that can be imposed for failure to comply with the law.

Marsh’s lead attorney, Deputy Public Defender Ron Johnson, declined to comment on the sanctions demand.

Reed also noted he had yet to receive a report on one of the two psychiatric evaluations of Marsh that were ordered in June after the teen changed his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity. With the case set to go to trial next Monday, Reed scheduled another hearing for Wednesday morning to determine when that report will be completed.

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

Lauren Keene

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