by Antoinnette Borbon
A jury of his peers would deliver a guilty verdict today in the state’s case against the young man responsible for the deaths of Oliver Northup and Claudia Maupin.
The panel, which consisted of eight women and four men, delivered a verdict of guilty in the first degree of two counts of murder with case enhancements for the use of a deadly weapon, also finding to be true the special circumstances of multiple victims, torture and lying in wait.
But it didn’t appear to come easy for one of the jurors, who sobbed during the reading of the verdict, and wiped the tears from her face as she watched Daniel’s reaction to their decision.
A red-faced Daniel Marsh, who was often seen covering his eyes and hanging his head, sat with hands clasped together, teary-eyed, as he listened to the verdict being read.
Daniel Marsh would confess to a gruesome act in which he took the lives of the elderly couple while they slept in their Cowell Blvd. home.
It was on a night in April of 2013, Daniel told FBI Agent Campion, that he roamed around looking for an open window. Adorned in black, wearing a ski mask and boots covered with duct tape, Daniel made his way through the open window of the Northups’ home.
Daniel told Agent Campion that he stood in the bedroom of the elderly couple as they slept and that “I knew it was too late to stop, I had to do something.”
He described in his confession, “It felt surreal, like I was out of body, euphoria….a better high than opium.”
It wasn’t until June of 2013, two months later, that authorities would learn, from Daniel’s best friend and (Daniel’s) girlfriend, the gruesome details of what Daniel had done in the early morning hours of April 14, 2013.
Daniel had confided in the two, as they all shared a liking for the same films, music, and recreational use of marijuana and alcohol…as they escaped from a shared sense of worsening depression.
In his closing, Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Cabral told jurors, “Daniel was driven by his own desire, a blood lust.”
But the defense would argue that side effects from the prescribed anti-depressants caused the young boy to have intrusive, morbid thoughts of homicide. Deputy Public Defender Ron Johnson stated to the jurors, “To expect a 14-year-old child to know why he is having those feelings, thoughts, borders on absurd.”
But in less than two hours, the jury would decide on first degree murder with enhancements and find all special circumstances to be true.
After reading the verdict of guilty, Judge Stephen Mock polled the jury members. One by one, they answered yes to the decision of guilt.
Today brought the first phase of the trial to an end. Next, jurors will have to listen to testimony to decide if Marsh is not guilty by reason of insanity.
On Monday morning the second phase is set to begin. If found insane, Daniel would spend his sentence in a mental health facility. If jurors deem him sane, Daniel faces life in state prison.
It was an emotional day for family members and friends, who have endured the trial through often grueling testimony from witnesses.
But there was a sigh of relief from the family of the victims as they thanked DDA Cabral, who also appeared to be overcome with emotion.