Thursday, December 11, 2003
It took a jury little more than an hour Thursday to find a Dream Island resident accused of shooting in the direction of construction workers guilty of felony menacing.
Russell Marmon could spend up to three years in jail. District Judge Michael O'Hara, who presided over the trial, set a sentencing date of Jan. 13.
Marmon was taken into custody immediately after the verdict. His wife hugged him before he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
The jury found Marmon guilty of placing Timothy Walker in fear of serious bodily injury by threat of physical action and use of a deadly weapon.
The conviction stems from an April 3 incident in which Marmon fired two shots in the vicinity of Miller Excavating employees working on a river-improvement project behind the Dream Island Mobile Home Community.
In closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James showed a poster board to the jury with a statement Marmon made shortly after being arrested in April: "I was just trying to scare the loader operator, so they would stop."
To prove felony menacing, St. James said, he needed only to show that Marmon intended to threaten someone with his gun. He did not need to show proof that Marmon fired the weapon or that Marmon could see what he was shooting, St. James said.
"It couldn't be any clearer. Sometimes they are just guilty," St. James said. "Mr. Marmon, on the day that it happened, told police what he did."
During Wednesday's testimony, St. James brought Walker and Steamboat Springs police Detective Bob DeValle, Sgt. Joel Rae and Officer Matt Harmon to the stand.
Walker testified he saw Marmon on the banks holding what he believed to be a revolver, heard two loud booms and believed he saw Marmon's arm recoil after one shot.
Harmon said Marmon's gun and two shell casings were found in the trailer he came out of when police came to the trailer park to arrest him.
The cornerstone of the defense's argument -- that Marmon was involuntarily intoxicated -- was taken away Wednesday when O'Hara ruled that defense attorney Tim Oliphant could not submit testimony proving his client had been unknowingly drugged with the powerful sedative Rohypnol, better know as "roofies," a date-rape drug, because it causes drowsiness, confusion and memory impairment. Oliphant had hoped to argue that Marmon had been drugged the night before the April 3 incident, had no recollection of the shooting and was acting out of character.
O'Hara stated the evidence that was being presented to prove involuntary intoxication was speculative.
Instead, during closing arguments, Oliphant raised questions about Walker's testimony, doubting that he could hear Marmon yelling "hey" over the sound of operating equipment and the river.
Oliphant said testimony indicated that Marmon did not yell any threats to workers, was not wearing his glasses and was sound asleep two hours before the incident. He said police never stated where the allegedly fired bullets went and whether Marmon was threatening Walker and not another worker at the scene, Chad Thompson.
"I would submit, there is not proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he was shooting (at) these people or threatening these people or if he was there threatening Mr. Walker or Mr. Thompson."
Marmon, who had planned to take the stand Wednesday but did not after the drugging testimony was excluded, did testify Thursday.
He told the jury he had no recollection of events from 7:30 p.m. the night before the incident to the day after he was arrested, when he was handed a copy of a newspaper report of the incident.
"I have tried, but I can't get anything," Marmon said of attempts to remember the day.
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