Four South Bay men were charged Friday with killing and robbing a registered sex offender, strangling him and attacking him with pliers and bolt cutters when he got out of his shower in his Redondo Beach apartment.
The charges make them eligible for the death penalty. The victim, John Haig Marshall, 61, died Nov. The cellphones were pawned at a shop in Compton. Judge Thomas Sokolov ordered them held in county jail without bail. Each was charged with felony counts of murder, conspiracy to commit burglary, first-degree burglary with a person present, and home-invasion robbery.
Prosecutors will later decide if they will seek the death penalty or life in prison without the chance of parole. Marshall owned and managed the building, and lived in one of the units.
Cervantes and the Sawyer brothers, wearing dark clothing, put on gloves and covered their faces with bandannas, the complaint said. Cervantes walked into the bathroom, strangled Marshall with his hands when he exited the shower, and Cervantes, Brandon Sawyer and Myles Sawyer assaulted and killed Marshall using the pliers and bolt cutter, the document said..
Redondo Beach police arrested the men earlier this week, jail records show. The records also showed the men had previous contacts with South Bay law enforcement. Officers arrested him on Oct. The man feared he had contracted a sexually transmitted disease. Doctors reported the crime to police. According to a police spokesman at the time, the man told officers he and Marshall knew each other and drank together on several occasions. Prosecutors at the time said Marshall sexually assaulted the man with a thin, hard object and shaved his body hair.
The man later awakened on the sofa and left the apartment. The Daily Breeze reported at the time that police detectives were already investigating sexual assault allegations previously made against Marshall, who had served as a police reserve officer for nine months from to , when he resigned for unknown reasons.
The allegations included reports that Marshall had drugged an underage boy and engaged in sex with him over an extended period in Prosecutors declined to file charges because the allegations were made beyond the statute of limitations for the offenses.
Detectives were unable to corroborate the tips. Facing eight years in prison on several charges, Marshall agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors in Torrance Superior Court that sent him away for three years. Marshall, the son of the late Alese Marshall, who operated a modeling and talent agency in Torrance, pleaded no contest to a charge of sexual penetration of an intoxicated person and was ordered to register as a sex offender upon his release.