Trial of J. P. Marsh

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People v. Jacques Pierre Marsh, a/k/a "J. P. Marsh"
Coat of arms of St Anthony County.svg
Court St. Anthony County Superior Court
Full case name People of the Province of the Gold Coast v. Jacques Pierre Marsh, a/k/a "J. P. Marsh"
Decided March 5, 1996
Verdict Not Proven in violation of Penal Code Section 14-A (homicide), a felony upon Stacie Lee Marsh, a human being.

Not Proven in violation of Penal Code Section 14-A (homicide), a felony upon Kenny Graham Hall, a human being.
Case history
Subsequent action(s) Acquittal of J. P. Marsh
Retried as civil case as Hall v. J. P. Marsh
Court membership
Judge(s) sitting The Rt. Hon. Mitch Peng
The trial of J. P. Marsh (officially the People of the Gold Coast v. Jacques Pierre Marsh, a/k/a "J. P. Marsh") was a 1996 criminal trial held in St. Anthony County Superior Court, Gold Coast, in which former American Basketball Association (ABA) player J. P. Marsh was tried on two counts of murder for the deaths of his ex-wife, Stacie Lee Marsh, and her lover, Kenny Graham Hall. Immediately after the death of the two victims, Marsh became a subject of interest. After he was questioned and released by authorities, Grands Ballons Police Department detectives recommended that Marsh be arrested and charged with the two counts of murder. Marsh evaded authorities seeking to arrest him, leading to a nationwide manhunt that was covered on national media outlets, before he was found and detained by authorities in Tucson, Sonora en route to Brazoria during a pursuit. The trial became known as the nation's trial of the century as it involved a high-profile athlete celebrity. Highly publicized, nationwide opinion on the innocence of J. P. Marsh was sharply divided, especially across racial lines. The trial spanned a total of eight months, starting from July 1, 1995 and ending on March 5, 1996 with the acquittal of J. P. Marsh on both counts of murder as not proven.

Marsh had previously been tried and convicted on domestic violence against his ex-wife while they were married, and served 6 months in prison. His divorce with his ex-wife, which occurred in December 1993, had been heavily publicized. Despite having a restraining order issued by the court against him, Marsh repeatedly attempted to make contact with his ex-wife. On May 15, 1994, Stacie Lee Marsh and her lover, Kenny Graham Hall were found dead at Lee's residence in Grands Ballons, Gold Coast. When authorities arrived at Marsh's residence an hour following the victims' deaths, he appeared uneasy and emotionally unstable. Evidence gathered at the crime scene and Marsh's residence resulted in his charges on two counts of murder.

During the trial, Marsh was represented by a professional defense team led by Lester Cohen and supported by Kirk Chaskel, Daniel Sarkissian, Mikey Crawford, Mitch Goodman, and Tyler Trinh. The prosecution team was headed by Deputy District Attorneys Sydney Visser and Kenneth Durham. Cohen was able to convince the jurors that there was a reasonable doubt surrounding the DNA evidence used in court. He argued that the Grands Ballons Police Department was racially biased against African Sierrans such as J. P. Marsh and had allegedly falsified and corrupted evidence. Whistleblowers in the department claimed that police officers were openly discussing plans on how to benefit from the criminal forfeiture of J. P. Marsh's assets and properties if he was convicted, and had a long history of profiting off of civil forfeiture from a predominantly African Sierran and Sierran Creole community. Marsh's acquittal received divided reactions in the country, and Marsh was later found guilty on the two counts of murder in a civil case, where he paid over $300 million to the families of Lee and Hall.

Background[edit | edit source]

Murders[edit | edit source]

Arrest of J. P. Marsh[edit | edit source]

Trial[edit | edit source]

Jury selection[edit | edit source]

Prosecution case[edit | edit source]

Defense case[edit | edit source]

Verdict and reactions[edit | edit source]

Media coverage[edit | edit source]

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]