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Marquez Sentenced – Slaying of his Mother

 

Son sentenced in slaying of mother
KEVIN HOFFMANN, The Kansas City Star
PUBLICATION: Kansas City Star, The (MO)

SECTION: NEWS

DATE: July 29, 2008

EDITION: 1

Page: B1

 
Taylor Marquez did not make much eye contact with relatives in the courtroom.

A judge asked him questions, and he answered quietly, sometimes with a whisper.

By the time the hearing finished in less than an hour, Marquez had admitted planning the murder of his mother and the unsuccessful attempt to murder his father.

Marquez, 18, pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder, assault and two counts of armed criminal action in the July 2006 death of Pamela Marquez and the cutting of assistant U.S. attorney Joe Marquez. In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed that Marquez should be sentenced to life in prison for the murder charge and 15 years for each of the other three counts.

Jackson County Circuit Judge W. Stephen Nixon imposed that sentence. He ordered Marquez to serve all the time concurrently, meaning he must spend at least 25 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

Earlier this month, Nixon sentenced Taylor’s best friend, Eddie George, to life in prison with no chance of parole after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder for stabbing Pamela Marquez multiple times and cutting Joe Marquez with a butcher knife.

At George’s trial, testimony showed that Taylor Marquez argued with his parents, sometimes loudly. Joe Marquez told jurors about the loving times he spent with Taylor when he was a young child and Pamela was a single parent. After marrying her, he adopted Taylor. But by the teenage years, Joe Marquez said, Taylor had become more combative. He angered easily, and shouting matches more than once turned into violence.

Taylor Marquez admitted Monday that he had seen a specialist for attention deficit disorder, depression and anger management.

In court Monday, he was quiet and subdued. He only showed emotion after the hearing, when he tearfully talked to a few relatives.

Assistant Jackson County prosecutor Tim Dollar called the plea a conclusion to a tragic case.

“Whenever a family is ripped apart by the death of a young woman and the perpetrator turns out to be her son, how much worse can it get?” he said.

John Picerno, who represented George, questioned the deal prosecutors made with Marquez.

“If it hadn’t have been for Taylor, she would still be alive,” he said. “Taylor could have gone to you, me or anybody. … It didn’t happen because Eddie wanted it to happen.”

Picerno said that he offered George’s testimony against Taylor Marquez in exchange for a plea to second-degree murder and life in prison, but prosecutors declined. He said he wondered why prosecutors would agree to a deal for second-degree murder when they had enough evidence for that and possibly enough for first-degree murder.

Tim Dollar said the idea that the state gave Taylor Marquez any kind of break was absurd.

“The evidence against Taylor was completely different than the evidence we had against Eddie,” Dollar said. “We didn’t have a statement (confession) to police by Taylor, and we did have one from Eddie.”

Dollar said that much of the evidence against Taylor was innuendos and hypothetical. The only way prosecutors could have proved Taylor deliberated was through Eddie, Dollar said.

Before accepting the plea, Dollar said prosecutors asked Eddie to testify against Taylor, telling him that if he agreed, they would have prosecuted Taylor for first-degree murder.

“The state was ready, willing and able to try Taylor for first-degree murder,” Dollar said. “But I was not willing to make a deal with Eddie to get him to do the right thing.”