Man pleads guilty to coercion, gets 90 days
A Madras man has pleaded guilty to a single count of coercion and admitted to "instilling fear of physical injury" to compel a woman to let him stay in her home.
John Leroy Marcum, 31, was sentenced to 90 days in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility and three years of supervised probation.
His sentence was significantly less than his co-defendant's. Fifty-year-old Christine Michelle Huff pleaded guilty last month to one count of first-degree burglary in the case and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Under Marcum's plea agreement, two counts of first-degree robbery, as well as unlawful use of a weapon, first-degree burglary second-degree theft and fourth-degree assault were dismissed.
Huff and Marcum were indicted on April 30 in Jefferson County Circuit Court.
They were accused of taking over a woman's residence on Southwest M Street.
A man called police on April 24 after his brother said he escaped from the residence. The man then told police that a man and a woman had taken over the residence and were stealing money from the woman who lived there and threatening her.
He said the pair were holding him hostage, and that the man had threatened him with a knife and stolen his cell phone, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by Madras Police in the case. He said he didn't know their names.
Police went to check and knocked on the partially opened door. Marcum got off the couch, the officer wrote, and he asked where the resident was.
He said she was in the bedroom, and the officer asked him to get her.
The officer saw that the resident's face and arms were "covered in bruises in various stages of healing."
When she came out the front door, she whispered, "Help," multiple times and motioned her head to the last place Marcum was standing, according to the affidavit.
The officer asked if Marcum had caused her injuries, and the resident nodded yes. The officer said the resident "appeared very scared and fearful for her safety."
The officer asked the resident for her consent to enter, and then he handcuffed Marcum and read him his rights.
After putting Marcum, who had a cell phone in his pocket, into the officer's patrol vehicle, the officer went back and talked to the resident.
He asked her if there was someone else in the residence, and the woman said there was and said, "She will hurt me. This is what she did to me," the officer wrote. He said the woman then pointed to her face.
The officer asked the woman why she said Marcum caused the injuries.
"That's because they were watching me," the woman told him. "If you leave me here, she will kill me."
The officer asked if Marcum had assaulted her and she said he had not, but he had threatened her.
The resident told the officer that Huff "beat the crap out of me."
The officer asked why Huff had assaulted the resident, and the resident "said it was because she 'backtalked her (and) said something against what she wanted,'" the officer wrote.
The resident said Marcum and Huff had been at her home for about a week.
She said, "Christine laid her on the bed, put a blanket over her, and punched her in the head," the officer wrote. She said both had threatened to kill her.
The officer went back into the home and noticed the bathroom door was locked. He called to Huff and told her to open the door and come out. She did not, so the officer asked the resident for permission to kick the bathroom door.
He did so and found Huff inside, according to the affidavit.
Huff denied beating the victim up, saying it was the victim's boyfriend who had hit her.
The victim, when asked why Marcum and Huff did not want her to leave, said, "I have no clue" and "They wanted to live in the house," the officer wrote. She also said, "They were holding us hostage."
The officer asked the victim what Marcum and Huff would do if she or the other man tried to leave, "and she said, 'Uh' and pointed to her face and said, 'That's what I got,'" he wrote. She said, "'That's just from talking back,' referring to the injuries on her face and said, 'What would they have done if I tried to leave?'"
The victim said Huff went with her everywhere she went and took all the money from her check.
The officer asked how that happened, and the victim said Huff and Marcum got into the mailbox and got her check. She said, "They told her she was going to cash the check for them." She said they made her cash the check and took the money from her. She also said a neighbor gave them a ride and witnessed Huff taking her money.
Huff denied taking the money, which amounted to $200. The officer found $99 in cash in Huff's purse and wallet.
Huff again denied hurting the victim, saying she had been fighting with her boyfriend.
In the meantime, the man who had also been in the residence told another police officer that Marcum had hit him several times and that Huff had hit him in the back of the head with a hammer, the officer wrote.
Huff was sentenced on Sept. 9, and Marcum was sentenced on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
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