As the suspect in Friday’s deputy slayings revealed yet another name for his long list of identities, prosecutors filed murder and other charges against both him and his wife, and laid the groundwork for a possible death penalty case against the 34-year-old Mexican national they’re still calling Marcelo Marquez.
Marquez, who lived in Salt Lake City for years after repeatedly entering the United States illegally, was hit with 14 felony counts ranging from the murder of two deputies to carjacking and possession of weapons by a felon. He also was named in five special circumstances that could lead prosecutors to seek the death penalty, although they insisted Tuesday that no decision had been made on that.
He and his wife, Janelle Marquez Monroy, a 38-year-old U.S. citizen, both were arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon under extremely tight security, with five deputies posted at the door of Judge Helena Gweon’s courtroom, three more surrounding the heavy steel arraignment cage and three more inside with the suspects, who appeared separately, one after the other.
Marquez came first. The 5-foot-7-inch, 175-pound convicted felon entered the cage shackled and with a bandage on his left arm. He listened intently to a Spanish translator as Gweon read the entire 13-page criminal complaint against him, his right arm and head trembling at times.
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His most significant remarks came when Gweon asked him if he was being charged under his true identity. Marquez, who has used at least five aliases and two Facebook names, responded with yet another name: Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamontes. His only other statements came when he said he could not afford his own attorney and when he asked Gweon to slow down her reading of the complaint. Public defender Jeff Barbour was appointed to represent him.
Next came his wife, who stood facing the judge with her blond hair pinned back in small bun and attorney Pete Kmeto, who was appointed to represent her, standing next to the cage.
Both suspects are charged together in a joint prosecution by the Sacramento and Placer county district attorneys following a Friday rampage that killed a deputy from each county, wounded a motorist and a third deputy, and terrorized a wide swath of the region.
Investigators still are interviewing witnesses and evaluating evidence, and Gweon would not allow the more than two dozen media representatives in the courtroom to photograph the suspects’ faces, despite the fact that Facebook profile photos have been widely circulated and mug shots of Marquez were released Monday by a sheriff in Arizona, where he has been arrested four times in the past under a different name.
Prosecutors and sheriffs from both counties conducted a news conference after the court appearance, but said they could not discuss most aspects of the case.
Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully said her office and Placer’s would follow their normal review process for determining whether to seek the death penalty.
“We’ve had preliminary discussions on that, but each of our offices, we have a protocol we follow in every death penalty eligible case,” Scully said. “We’re not going to treat this case any differently. We’re going to go through our process.
“The only difference will be that we’re going to be doing a joint process in making that decision. We anticipate making that, not rushing with it, but making that decision at the earliest opportunity, and once we make that decision we will announce it.”
Marquez is charged in both killings, accused of using a 9 mm handgun to shoot Sacramento County Deputy Danny Oliver as the lawman approached the couple in a Motel 6 parking lot Friday morning, and charged with using an AR-15 assault rifle to kill Placer Deputy Michael Davis Jr. later that day in Auburn.
He faces five special circumstances that could lead to a death penalty prosecution, including committing multiple murders and killing officers to avoid arrest.
His wife is also charged as a murder defendant in the death of Davis, with the complaint alleging that she was “a principal in said offense,” although she is not believed to have fired shots during the crime spree.
Officials would not elaborate on why she faced charges in that death but not Oliver’s, and Scully said additional charges may come later.
The pair are being held without bail at the Sacramento County jail, and Sheriff Scott Jones said he expected them to be moved to other jails outside the county in the next few weeks.
“While they are here now, I’ve already initiated discussions with several neighboring sheriffs who have all volunteered to house the suspects in their facility,” Jones said. “I don’t have any concerns at all regarding the professionalism of our officers toward that suspect.
“I would just as soon our officers and professional staff not have to look at these two suspects every day during the pendency of the criminal trials.”
Both were arrested Friday after a rampage that began that morning at a motel near the Arden Fair mall and ended 30 miles away in Auburn.
Both suspects are charged with attempted murder for the shooting with a 9 mm handgun of Anthony Holmes, whose car they allegedly tried to take, and are charged with trying to carjack Holmes’ vehicle and three other civilian cars.
Marquez also is charged with stealing a Placer County sheriff’s car and a .12-gauge shotgun belonging to the department.
The complaint also says that other officers were fired at during the crime spree, including Placer County Deputy Jeff Davis, who was shot in an arm. Both suspects are charged with attempted murder in his wounding, which the complaint says came from Marquez firing the AR-15.
The two also are accused of the attempted murder of Placer County Deputies Charles Bardo and Joseph Roseli, with Marquez allegedly firing at them with an AR-15.
Marquez also faces a charge of being a felon in possession of firearms, and both suspects are charged with the illegal possession of an assault weapon.
Call The Bee’s Sam Stanton, (916) 321-1091.