Marshall#039;s triple murder trial delayed until 2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

Jurors who reported earlier this month for duty in the triple murder trial of Roger Marshall are getting phone calls telling them they're out of a job.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Richard Walton Monday postponed the trial until Jan 30, 2006. This came after prosecutors introduced new evidence in the case against Marshall, and defense attorneys requested additional time to study the evidence and conduct their own scientific tests on some of the new material.

"We had a combination of a large amount of both physical evidence and purported statements of Mr. Marshall that were not revealed to us until this very late date combined with scheduling conflicts for Bill Eachus and myself

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which forced a long continuance," defense attorney Charles Knight said.

Eachus and Knight also have a death penalty case in Scioto County in August and Eachus has yet another trial starting in January in Pike County.

This means Marshall will not stand trial for another nine months - more than a year and a half after his arrest. Both Knight and Walton agree this is an unusually long continuance. But Walton said capital cases are an entity unto themselves.

"Death penalty cases are different from other cases," Walton said. "Each one seems to take on a life of its own. No two capital cases are exactly the same."

Meanwhile, the defense has submitted five new motions in the case, asking for a variety of


Their list includes a request that evidence found at Marshall's residence be suppressed and that they be given a copy of all exculpatory (proof of innocence) evidence uncovered by investigators, whether or not they determined it to be exculpatory.

The motions, filling 60 or more pages, was filed April 19. Walton has yet to rule on all of them, pending responses from the prosecutor's office.

An entirely new jury pool will report for duty and receive questionnaires in the case Jan. 30, 2006. Opening arguments should commence Feb. 21, 2006.

Marshall, 57,

is charged with 12 counts of aggravated arson as well as three counts of murder. He is accused of setting a fire at the Lyle Motel on South Third Street August 2, killing James M. Reed, Lolaetta Corbin and John Meyer. Because other people were in the motel at the time of the fire, the additional arson counts were added. Marshall has pleaded not guilty.