Saturday, August 31, 2002

Accused held on $50M bond in kids' deaths

Prosecutors undecided on death penalty

By Jim Hannah,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BURLINGTON — A judge set a $50 million bond Friday for the man accused of killing two Warsaw, Ky., children in a brutal stabbing.

Chapman in court Friday
        Gallatin County District Judge Michael Collins set the bond during Friday morning's arraignment of Marco Allen Chapman, accused of killing 6-year-old Cody Sharon and 7-year-old Chelbi Sharon with a knife early Aug. 23, leaving their mother, Warsaw city clerk Carolyn Marksberry and her oldest daughter, 10-year-old Courtney Sharon, wounded and bleeding.

        “I have never heard of a judge in Kentucky issuing a $50 million bond,” said Anne Haynie, who chairs the criminal law section of the Louisville Bar Association.

        Mr. Chapman, 30, stared at the floor for most of the arraignment and did not make any statements in court other than to confirm to the judge his identity and to indicate he understood the charges against him.

[photo] Bill Hedges, brother of victim Carolyn Marksberry, glared at Chapman during the arraignment.
(Patrick Reddy photos)
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        Attorney John Delaney of the Department of Public Advocacy in Covington entered a not guilty plea on his client's behalf. Mr. Chapman is charged with two counts of murder, two counts of first-degree assault and one count of burglary.

        “As far as I'm concerned the bond couldn't be set high enough,” said Commonwealth Attorney Linda Tally Smith.

        “A $50 million bond is very excessive, in my opinion,” said Mr. Delaney. “But the reality is he couldn't make a $50,000 bond.”

        Mrs. Tally Smith said she won't decide whether to seek the death penalty until she consults with the family. “I'm waiting for Mrs. Marksberry to recover before I do that.”

        Mrs. Marksberry, 37, suffered 15 stab wounds but was able to run to neighbors for help. Courtney survived by playing dead before escaping to another neighbor's home.

        Gallatin County townspeople and those close to the Marksberry family have said Mr. Chapman was angry with Mrs. Marksberry for advising her friend to break off a relationship with him.

        There will be a memorial service at 11 a.m. today at the Gallatin County Elementary School for the two children who were killed. The family has asked that the public remember Chelbi's 8th birthday, which would have been this weekend by buying a stuffed animal or toy for a needy child.


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