MURPHYS A father who killed his teenage children before taking his own life at a home in Murphys was arrested four years ago after a fight with his estranged wife and her sister, according to the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies found the bodies of Phillip Randolph Marshall, 54, his son Alex Marshall, 17, and daughter Macaila Marshall, 14, Saturday afternoon at a residence in the 1200 block of Sandalwood Drive in the Forest Meadows subdivision in Murphys. Previous reports incorrectly described both teens as boys.
Sheriff's officials said Alex and Macaila Marshall apparently were asleep on the couch at the time they were shot.
Officials, citing evidence at the scene, identified Phillip Marshall as the shooter. They ruled out foul play by any other individuals.
The times of death were not immediately determined. Each person was shot with a handgun and had a single gunshot wound to the head.
Deputies were called to the home about 3:10 p.m. Saturday on a report of suspicious circumstance. Friends of Alex and Macaila Marshall told investigators that they had not heard from the teenagers since Thursday and went to the family's house Saturday to look for them. From the front door of the house, they were able to see Phillip Marshall lying inside in a pool of blood.
The mother of the two children, Sean Marshall, was out of the country.
Authorities said follow-up investigation revealed that the Marshall family had prior contact with the Sheriff's Office.
In November 2008, Phillip Marshall filed a crime report against his estranged wife for burglary. In December 2008, Sean Marshall and her sister, Erin Chamberlain, filed a complaint with the Sheriff's Office against Phillip Marshall for battery.
According to reports, sheriff's officials said, Phillip Marshall argued with Chamberlain outside Sean Marshall's home in Murphys. The argument reportedly stemmed from Phillip Marshall wanting to see his daughter, Macaila. During the argument, Phillip Marshall allegedly slapped Chamberlain in the face.
He was arrested and booked into the Calaveras County jail on suspicion of battery, disturbing the peace, and making annoying or harassing phone calls.
Authorities said it has not been determined what led to the murder-suicide.
Alex and Macaila Marshall were students at Bret Harte High School in Angels Camp. Bret Harte students will hold a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Wednesday on the school quad. A memorial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the football stadium.