Crime - Sacto 911

Hoarder guilty in murder of animal control officer

Murder defendant Joseph Francis Corey.
Murder defendant Joseph Francis Corey.

About five hours of deliberations was sufficient for a Sacramento Superior Court jury to return with a first-degree murder conviction Thursday against a hoarder who shot and killed an animal control officer two years ago in Galt.

Joseph Francis Corey, 67, is likely to be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for the Nov. 28, 2012, shooting death of Roy Marcum, 45. Besides convicting Corey of murder, the jury sustained two special-circumstance allegations against him – shooting an officer in the performance of his duties and lying in wait.

“He got what he deserved,” a tearful Charlotte Marcum, the slain man’s mother, said in an interview after the verdict.

As for her son, Charlotte Marcum said, “He had a fantastic smile and a loving heart. There wasn’t a person or animal he didn’t care about.”

For Marcum, the killing of her son was the second horrific tragedy she had to endure in five years. In 2007, another son, Michael, 40, died in a traffic accident.

“I’ll try to move on, but it’s kind of hard when you’ve got two gone,” she said. “They’re both buried together.”

Corey’s attorney, Jennifer Mouzis, based his defense on her client’s anxiety disorder that led to his compulsive hoarding of trash in his house in Galt where he shot and killed Marcum. She had argued that his mental defect made him incapable of premeditating the killing.

“We respect the jury’s decision in this case,” Mouzis said. “However, we hope the evidence brings awareness to the issue of mental health.”

Deputy District Attorney William Satchell said, “The jury made the right decision, based on everything that was in front of it.”

At the time of the shooting, Corey was being evicted from his house on the 600 block of First Street after having not made a house payment in three years.

He fought the eviction in bankruptcy court, but a federal judge declined to consider the issue, and the eviction proceeding played out the day before the fatal shooting when a Sacramento County sheriff’s detective served him with papers that he had to leave.

Corey had eight dogs and two cats penned up amid the clutter of his home, which brought Marcum to the house the next day.

Satchell said Corey armed himself with a .35 Whelen high-powered hunting rifle, waited for the law to return to his house and fired through the front door when Marcum walked up, thinking he was shooting a law enforcement officer.

Judge Greta Curtis Fall scheduled Corey’s sentencing for Dec. 12.

Call The Bee’s Andy Furillo, (916) 321-1141. Follow him on Twitter @andyfurillo.

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