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Mistrial declared in case involving death of man following confrontation in Orangevale garage

Published: Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014 - 4:09 pm

A mistrial was declared Tuesday in the case of Brandon Biagioni, who was accused of murder in the bludgeoning death of an Orangevale man in June.

During the trial, Biagioni, 32, said he didn’t mean to kill 63-year-old James Marlow during a confrontation in the garage at the Orangevale residence.

Deputy District Attorney Thomas Asker said the jury, which began deliberations March 19, told the court Tuesday that it was deadlocked 11-1, with the majority of the jurors finding Biagioni not guilty of the murder charge. Asker said the jury was not asked how it voted on lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Asker said no decision has been made on whether to retry the case. Biagioni, who remains in jail, will be in court April 8.

The fatal confrontation between Biagioni and Marlow occurred June 6, after Marlow’s wife, Sandra, found Biagioni in friend Diane Beath’s garage on Pershing Avenue. Beath, a widow, had given Biagioni a place to stay. But Biagioni testified that she wanted him out after he forged her name on $4,000 in checks for work Beath never wanted done.

Beath had asked Sandra Marlow to feed her dog while she was in the hospital, and when Sandra Marlow dropped by about 6 p.m. June 6, she found Biagioni working out on a punching bag in the garage.

She told Biagioni to leave or she would call 911 and report him for burglary. Biagioni testified that he refused to leave because he thought he had Beath’s permission to be there to get his belongings out of the residence.

Sandra Marlow then called the Sheriff’s Department and her husband.

Biagioni testified that James Marlow came to the garage with a baseball bat, and that Marlow swung the bat at him. Biagioni testified that the two men struggled for the bat, and that in pulling the bat away from Marlow he “clipped” Marlow’s left ear and sent him sprawling.

Marlow was able to get to his feet, walk outside the garage and call 911. Paramedics took Marlow to a hospital, where he went into cardiac arrest later that night. The cause of death was listed as blunt-force trauma to the head in conjunction with pre-existing heart disease, according to the prosecutor’s trial brief.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke

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