Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Chapman was read his rights, officers testify



By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WARSAW - Four sheriff's deputies from West Virginia testified for three hours Monday as defense attorneys for Marco Allen Chapman attempted to get the accused killer's alleged confession thrown out.

The defense argues Chapman was not advised of his rights.

The West Virginia deputies were all present when Chapman was read his Miranda rights, said Commonwealth Attorney Linda Tally Smith. The two deputies who were present during most of the conversation said Chapman only asked for an attorney after speaking with authorities for about 1 hours.

The defense cross-examined the deputies but didn't call additional witnesses during the suppression hearing. The judge didn't rule Monday. He is allowing defense attorneys to submit a written brief after they receive a lab report. Part of their argument is that Chapman was under the influence at the time of the alleged confession, and they are awaiting blood tests to back up their claim.

The statement Chapman gave police has not been released to the public; it is said to be long and rambling. The transcript is 77 typed pages.

Defense attorneys told the court that they have commissioned University of Kentucky pollsters to measure how many people in Gallatin County are familiar with the Chapman case.

They hope the poll results will bolster their argument for a change of venue. Smith, however, said she was still opposed to moving the trial to another area.

Chapman was accused in August of a home invasion that left two children dead and their mother and a sister seriously wounded.

Chapman, of Union, stands charged with two counts each of murder and attempted murder, and one count each of rape, robbery, burglary and being a persistent felony offender.

Chapman is accused of killing Chelbi Sharon, 7, and her brother, Cody Sharon, 6.

Their mother, Carolyn Marksberry, survived 15 stab wounds and their sister, Courtney Sharon, 10 at the time, suffered cuts to the face.

After the attack, Chapman led police on a 200-mile chase to his home state of West Virginia, where he was apprehended and arrested.

E-mail jhannah@enquirer.com




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