He’d been in the box with investigators for hours and the walls were beginning to close in on Daniel Marsh.
Chris Campion, a retired FBI profiler, had been brought in to help solve the savage double murder of an elderly couple that stunned and shocked Davis two months earlier. Ariel Pineda, a veteran Davis detective, joined Campion in the interrogation room, questioning the boy they thought responsible for the stabbing deaths of Oliver Northup, 87, and Claudia Maupin, 76, in the bedroom of the couple’s south Davis condominium.
They asked Marsh what he knew about the homicide. They told him to take off his boots, asked if he wrapped the soles with duct tape. They pat-searched him, emptied his pockets and explained that his cellphone calls could easily be tracked. They told the teenager why they were sitting in a cramped room at Davis Police Department and what they needed to hear from him.
“I’m trying to solve a homicide,” Campion told Marsh. “Don’t lie to me. We’re pretty good at this. I’m not going to ruin your life. Tell us what happened.”
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And, for more than two hours, Marsh did. On Wednesday, the Yolo Superior Court jurors who will decide his fate watched the remainder of the hours-long June 2013 interview with investigators that led to the Davis teen’s arrest on murder charges in the couple’s April 14, 2013, killings. Jurors last week viewed the interview’s first hours and Marsh’s early denials of his involvement in the slayings. Marsh, now 17, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He faces a life sentence if convicted.
Closing arguments in the case are expected today before Yolo Superior Court Judge David Reed.
Sounding defiant at times, weary at others, often profane, a videotaped Marsh initially challenged the investigators.
“You guys are trying to pin a crime on me that I didn’t commit,” Marsh said in the videotape. “Ask my dad. Ask my sister. I didn’t do anything to deserve this (expletive).”
In the courtroom, Marsh showed a different side, shielding his eyes from the view of jurors and a news photographer. Several rows away in the gallery sat a silent Victoria Hurd, Maupin’s daughter and a daily presence at the trial, surrounded by friends and family, listening to a videotaped Marsh’s gradual detour from denial to chilling confession.
“That night I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to do it. I was looking around to see which house I should go into,” Marsh said on the video.
Years earlier, Marsh recalled, he and his father were invited to the couple’s home. Maupin and Northup were new to the south Davis block and wanted to meet their neighbors.
He then described how he sliced through a screen door and made his way to Northup and Maupin’s bedroom, the horror that followed and how he reveled in it.
“It felt amazing,” Marsh told investigators on the recording. “It felt great. It was pure happiness. It was the most enjoyable feeling I’ve ever felt.”
At one point, Hurd rose slowly from her bench in the gallery, appearing to steady herself against the description of her mother’s attack, then slowly eased back into her seat to be comforted by those around her. A juror appeared to hold back tears.
Toward the end of the recording, Campion thanked Marsh.
“Thanks for helping us understand a little more about what happened,” Campion told him.