By Genevieve Ghamian
The trial of Daniel Marsh continued Tuesday morning with Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Cabral recalling Dr. Jason Bynum, Daniel’s psychiatrist from Kaiser. Kaiser records were entered into evidence regarding the medication Bynum prescribed to Daniel.
Bynum explained that he had prescribed Prozac for Daniel even though Daniel’s psychiatrist during hospitalization had told Daniel to go back on Celexa, after taking Lexapro for awhile. The chemical make-up of Prozac is drastically different from Lexapro. Daniel’s mother did not want him on Prozac and Bynum’s notes did not specify the reason for the change.
He attempted to clarify the error by stating a different doctor may have changed Lexapro to Prozac. Subsequently, Daniel may have asked Bynum for a refill. That would be in direct conflict with the last doctor’s note that stated that Daniel “should go back on his previous medication.” Daniel’s previous medication was Celexa, not Prozac.
Daniel was placed on Seroquel before he “moved on to the Vacaville outpatient clinic,” and he not see Bynum again.
The next witness was Timothy Hesgard, a child and family therapist at Kaiser. Daniel’s mother was seeking therapy for Daniel September 9, 2008, and was assigned Hesgard.
The Kaiser intake notes stated Daniel was angry, unstable, had difficulty sleeping and had unpredictable rages. Hesgard testified that he was informed that Daniel’s father was emotionally abusive and neglectful. Hesgard also noted that Daniel was having nightmares and Daniel’s father allowed him to miss a lot of school.
Hesgard met Daniel on September 30, 2008. Daniel was 11 years old, very bright, humorous, hardworking and into karate. Daniel did not like school because he was taken out of private school and had no friends. He was diagnosed as having adjustment disorder with depressed mood.
Daniel’s father brought him for the next visit on October 23, 2008. Daniel and his father did not think they needed to be there as “everything is fine.”
The next visit was December 2, 2008, and his father brought Daniel again. Daniel insisted he was only there because his mother made him come and he would not return unless the whole family was forced to come with him.
Almost four years later on June 11, 2012, Daniel’s father called because “Daniel was in crisis,” and needed to be seen. Daniel was seen in Vacaville.
Daniel was seen by Hesgard on December 24, 2012, after his hospitalization. Daniel described depression, insomnia, hopelessness, general anxiety, marijuana use daily, continued homicidal thoughts getting worse, paranoia, cutting himself, and feeling worthless. Hesgard recommended group and individual therapy for Daniel and his mother.
On January 18, 2013, Hesgard saw Daniel and “things were looking up for him.” Hesgard noted that Daniel’s girlfriend had something to do with Daniel feeling good and having decreased homicidal and suicidal thoughts. Daniel stated he and his mother did not want group therapy.
On February 1, 2013, Daniel felt he was missing too much school and refused to see Hesgard. Daniel’s mother said he was doing better, even though he was having some school issues and the therapist at school said Daniel was having suicidal and homicidal thoughts. Daniel’s mother rescinded consent for Hesgard to view the King’s View records.
Daniel was seen on February 7, 2013. He was having a bad week because his girlfriend was depressed. Daniel reported that he had contacted the school, his girlfriend’s family and Child Protective Services to help his girlfriend. Daniel did not have any homicidal or suicidal thoughts because he needed to be there for his girlfriend.
Additionally, Daniel was worried about his friend Alvaro having feelings for Daniel’s girlfriend. The friendship ended and Daniel was doing “everything in my power to not kill him.”
The only group therapy session Daniel attended was February 11, 2013. Daniel introduced himself and said he was in-group because he was “extremely homicidal and suicidal.” Daniel did not make another statement in the group. Daniel stormed out of group because he felt the other members’ issues were too trivial.
On February 12, 2013, Hesgard spoke to Jordan Mulder, the psychologist at Davis High School, about “patient’s constant underlying homicidal thoughts” and his need for a more restricted school placement. Hesgard felt Daniel was saying he was homicidal to get attention, as it was in conflict with his calm and engaging behavior.
Daniel’s visit with Hesgard on February 22, 2013, showed he was doing better again, that “the edge has been taken off.” Daniel said he was smoking less, looking forward to doing better and managing his thoughts better. Hesgard questioned the authenticity of Daniel’s story of killing of a raccoon, but he didn’t actually ask Daniel any questions about it. Hesgard felt the killing was more probable when Deputy Public Defender Ron Johnson informed him that Daniel had used a bat.
On February 23, 2013, Daniel missed the appointment due to “custody issues with dad.” Hesgard noted on the March 4, 2013, appointment that Daniel was improving, but missed his group therapy on March 19, 2013.
Less than a month before the crime, on March 26, 2013, Hesgard noted again that Daniel was improving. Hesgard also stated, however, that Daniel’s homicidal thoughts persisted and he kicked the dog without any remorse. Hesgard noted that Daniel was friends with Alvaro again.
Brief Afternoon Update From Marsh Trial
By Antoinnette Borbon
Timothy Hesgard, MFT (marriage and family therapist), talked about Marsh’s homicidal ideations, which Mr. Hesgard had written about in several notes. He stated that it was Daniel’s parents who would not attend group meetings or keep sessions with Daniel’s therapy going. He felt that Daniel went up and down with his emotions, and felt that his parents were partly to blame for Daniel not receiving continuing care.
He said he reviewed the notes of Dr. Cheyenne He and expressed concern that Daniel was still feeling homicidal thoughts, anxiety, restlessness and anger. But he said that Daniel wanted to appear dark and withdrawn to the world while, to him, he was pleasant, open, insightful, warm and often smiling during all of their sessions. He felt that if Daniel had continued in therapy he would have gotten better.
Johnson asked him whether it was Mr. Cabral’s wording that Daniel declined to go to therapy or whether it was really the lack of transportation and the parents’ involvement. Hesgard said it was Daniel who told him that it was his parents who refused to come to group, and often would not take him to his sessions.
He said that, to him, it was typical of a teenager to go up and down with emotions of suicide….but he grew more concerned as Daniel’s homicidal thoughts were getting worse, per Daniel’s statements to Hesgard.
Hesgard said he felt that it was possible that Daniel wanted to be thought of as “dark, feared,” for an effect.
But he always felt Daniel was very open and honest about his feelings, and was serious about wanting those thoughts gone. He said it was Daniel who kept telling him that he wanted to get better, feel better and stop those bad thoughts and feelings from coming. He was always willing to work on things that would make him feel better, in Hesgard’s opinion.
Daniel told Hesgard that his mother wanted to work on their relationship, but Daniel felt it weird and didn’t want to have much to do with his mother. He said that his father was emotionally abusive and had an explosive temper.