Crime - Sacto 911

February 6, 2014

Yolo judge keeps hearing open in Davis murder case

An upcoming hearing to determine whether jurors can see the police interview of a 16-year-old accused of killing a Davis couple will remain open to the public, a Yolo Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.

Sacto 911

Covering crime, police and courts in the Sacramento region

An upcoming hearing to determine whether jurors can see the police interview of a 16-year-old accused of killing a Davis couple will remain open to the public, a Yolo Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.

Daniel William Marsh is accused of stabbing to death attorney Oliver Northup, 87, and his wife, Claudia Maupin, 76, during a break-in at their Davis home in April. A hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 28 to determine whether the police interview of Marsh must be sealed when his trial begins the next month.

Marsh’s counsel, Yolo County Assistant Public Defender Ronald Johnson, not only wanted the interview sealed but also to close the hearing that would decide whether jurors could see the recording.

Johnson argued Thursday that presenting the statements – part of a reported five hours of interviews with authorities – in open court and subject to reportage by the media so soon before a scheduled March trial would prejudice potential jurors.

Yolo Superior Court Judge David Reed ruled Thursday that the Feb. 28 hearing would remain open, but addressed Johnson’s concerns by agreeing to view in his chambers a reported five hours of video interviews Marsh gave to authorities following his June arrest.

The statements, which first came to light in police testimony during Marsh’s preliminary hearing in September, disclosed in chilling detail how the Davis couple were killed.

Marsh’s father and family members were in the gallery for Thursday’s brief hearing as the younger Marsh sat silently in the jury box.

Media attorney Stephen Burns, representing The Sacramento Bee, Davis Enterprise and Woodland Daily Democrat, argued to keep the hearing open to the public.

“We’re obviously very pleased that the media is able to attend” the hearing, Burns said Thursday. “The public is much better served when the public is allowed to attend.”

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