This is our archive of news items tagged Diane Marsh.

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Tucson mom gets 10 years in death of son, 5

Background: Diane Marsh had testified a housemate convinced her that satanic cults were out to kill her and her son.

According to Marsh every bad act that happened to her son was the result of her housemate Flower Tompson’s power over her.

A forensic psychologist had told the jury the woman was thoroughly brainwashed.

Tucson mom gets 10 years in death of son, 5

A Tucson mother who was convicted of negligent homicide last month in the death of her 5-year-old son was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday morning by Pima County Superior Court Judge Hector Campoy.

Diane Marsh, 41, was originally charged with first-degree murder in the March 2007 death of Brandon Williams, but jurors convicted her of the less serious charge of negligent homicide after Marsh told them her roommate, Flower Tompson, 28, was responsible for the boy’s death. Marsh was also convicted of four counts of child abuse. Tompson called 911 on March 21, 2007, after Brandon stopped breathing. Resuscitation efforts failed, and the boy died at Northwest Medical Center.

Paramedics who went to Marsh’s North Side home called the Pima County Sheriff’s Department because they saw marks on the boy’s wrists, ankles and feet that indicated he had been tied up and burned.

An autopsy revealed the child died of a skull fracture and had large amounts of the sleeping medication in his system. Tompson pleaded guilty to child abuse. But Marsh went to trial in July and shifted the burden to Tompson. Marsh testified Tompson convinced her that satanic cults were out to kill her and her son, and that Tompson knew the best way to deal with Brandon, even when it involved physical abuse.

Although Marsh told detectives she had tied Brandon to his bed and dipped his feet in hot water to quell his temper tantrums, she told jurors Tompson did those things because he had been disrespectful toward Tompson.

– Source: Tucson mom gets 10 years in death of son, 5, Kim Smith, Arizona Daily Star, Sep. 18, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Mom found guilty in boy’s death, but retrial a possibility

Mom found guilty in boy’s death, but retrial a possibility

Confusion over verdict forms submitted by jurors could mean a retrial for a Tucson woman convicted Monday of negligent homicide in the death of her 5-year-old son.

Brandon Williams died from a 3 1/2-inch skull fracture, but there was evidence he had also been drugged, burned and tied up in the weeks leading up to his death. His mother, Diane Marsh, 41, was charged with first-degree murder and four counts of child abuse.

On Monday she was convicted of the less serious charge of negligent homicide and four counts of child abuse. The jurors decided Marsh “intentionally and knowingly” engaged in the child abuse, but said none of the acts was likely to cause Brandon’s death. The jurors also said that while Deputy Pima County Attorney Shawn Jensvold proved Marsh drugged the boy, he failed to prove Marsh caused the head injury.

Jurors were given two forms to fill out when it came to the murder charge. On one form, they were asked if Marsh was guilty of felony murder. On the other, they could have convicted Marsh of second-degree murder or the less serious charges of manslaughter or negligent homicide.

The jurors wrote “guilty” next to negligent homicide but left the other blanks empty.

Jensvold believes the jury couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on the more serious charges and therefore, Marsh could be tried for murder again because those entries were left blank. Defense attorney Steve Sonenberg believes the jury believed Marsh was guilty only of negligent homicide.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Hector Campoy will allow the attorneys to argue their viewpoints on Aug. 26.

If the verdict stands, Marsh could be placed on probation or sent to prison. The maximum sentence on any one count is 3.75 years.

Marsh testified last week that she spent months living her life at the direction of her roommates, Flower Tompson and Mark Moss.

She came to believe satanic cults were out to kill her and her son, and that Tompson knew the best way to deal with Brandon, even when it involved physical abuse, Marsh said.
[…]

Marsh, a former U.S. Air Force cook, met Tompson and Moss in August 2006, and the two quickly moved in with her, Marsh said.

Within a month, Tompson had convinced her that satanic cults wanted her and Brandon dead, Marsh said.

Tompson often relayed various orders to Marsh that supposedly came down from a juvenile probation officer named “Jamie,” Marsh said.

Those orders included looking for high priests, hiding out from family and friends who had been corrupted by the cults and making drastic changes in her day-to-day life.

For instance, Marsh said, she stopped giving Brandon his medication because Tompson said Jamie was working on getting him better medications. She also stopped taking him to his therapy sessions, school and day care because Tompson told her Jamie didn’t believe they were safe.

She also stopped going to the VA hospital because Tompson said Jamie said they were going to kill her, Marsh said.
[…]

Tompson, who was charged with first-degree murder and child abuse, has pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse under circumstances likely to cause death or serious physical injury.

She is facing a prison sentence of five to 15 years. Moss was never charged in connection with the case.

– Source: Mom found guilty in boy’s death, but retrial a possibility, Kim Smith, Arizona Daily Star, USA, Aug. 5, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog