Crime & Courts

Jury trial begins in Dollar General double-homicide case

Marquis Marshall at his arraignment in May, 2013.
Marquis Marshall at his arraignment in May, 2013. File photo

A Sedgwick County jury will begin hearing evidence Tuesday in the murder trial of a man charged with the Nov. 30 shooting deaths of two people at a Wichita Dollar General store.

Marquis Marshall, 20, is charged with capital murder, but prosecutors announced in May that they would not seek the death penalty.

Although police have discussed no motive for the shootings, there have been hints in court filings and prior court hearings that mental illness may play a role in the trial.

Marshall paid little attention to court proceedings during his preliminary hearing in May and rarely made eye contact with witnesses. In a handwritten motion filed after that hearing, Marshall asked to be sent to Larned State Hospital for a mental evaluation.

“I have been to Larned before and kept on a behavior unit and was taking meds for mental problems and was even seen by a doctor,” he wrote in the motion. “I wish to go to Larned for evaluation. I pray the court grant my motion. Thank you for your time.”

Marshall also has filed two handwritten motions seeking to have his court-appointed lawyer, Ron Evans, replaced. A lack of communication was cited in both motions. All three of the motions were denied.

Marshall is charged with murdering Zachary Hunt, a 22-year-old employee of the Dollar General store at 13th and Oliver, and Henry Harvey, a 79-year-old customer. Both were shot multiple times with a .22-caliber handgun, and both were pronounced dead at the scene.

During the preliminary hearing, a Wichita police detective said Marshall was identified as a suspect in the case through a fingerprint that was left on a glass door.

A store manager testified at that hearing that nine cameras were running in the store at the time of the shooting, but the only video shown during the preliminary hearing came from a camera that was aimed at the front door and did not show the area where the victims were shot.

District Attorney Marc Bennett is prosecuting the case, and District Judge Warren Wilbert is presiding at the trial.

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