2 Days of Testimony in Hagins Trial

Testimony last week by the victim of an alleged sexually-motivated attack helped clarify what reportedly happened in a Plumas Lake home May ...

Testimony last week by the victim of an alleged sexually-motivated attack helped clarify what reportedly happened in a Plumas Lake home May 15, 2009 and how Yuba County sheriff’s investigators so quickly focused on Marcus Charles Hagins as their key suspect.

Yuba County Sheriff’s Sergeant Joseph Pomeroy, lead investigator in the crime, said the 20-year-old victim named Hagins as one of two persons she knew who were tall and thin as the attacker had been.

The other person, whose last name was not known, could not me located, so Hagins’ became the immediate focus of the investigation.

Evidence began to pile up.

Hakins and the victim had known each other for some time. His vehicle closely matched the one seen near the crime scene. When questioned, the cooperative Hagins admitted to having been in general Plumas Lake area about the time of the attack.

The crime victim testified that she had known Hagins since about “the eight grade” and that they had gone to East Nicolaus High School together. Upon graduation, the victim testified, they went to separate junior colleges. She to Yuba College; he to Sierra College.

She said they had gone out together with other friends, but denied have a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with Hagins. In fact they had been drifting apart, even as friends.

She said her house key went missing from her purse while she was shopping with Hagins at the Roseville Galleria shopping center some months before the home break-in. The implication was that Hagins took it while she tried on garments.

When Pomeroy and another deputy arrived at the Hagins residence in Elverta, they saw a white Chrysler Sebring matching the vehicle the assailant escaped in. He often drove it, Hagins told investigators.

Asked to sketch out his movements the night of the attack, Hagins said he been to the movie “Angels & Demons” in Sacramento with friends. After the movie he went to one of the friend’s home in East Nicolaus, which is near the Plumas Lake area.

Hagins said he left the friend’s house about 3:30 a.m. and went home to Elverta, Pomeroy testified.

At the sheriff’s department for questioning, Hagins was given a bottle of water, from which fingerprints were lifted.

A fingerprint expert from the state Department of Justice, Richard Johnson, testified in Yuba County Superior Court that the fingerprints on the water bottle were determined to match the fingerprints found on a doorknob to the victim’s bedroom.

Yuba County crime scene investigator Jennifer Mervine testified extensively about how she gathered bits of evidence, including portions of duct tape that had been used to bind the victim.

She transported the tape samples to the state DOJ where Johnson processed the evidence. Ultimately, fingerprints matching Hagins’ fingerprints were determined to match fingerprints lifted from the door and the water bottle and the duct tape.

The felony charges finally charged against Hagins are serious indeed. The range from assault with intent to rape, burglary, false imprisonment and one charge alleging cause “terror,”

I have compiled a full inventory of the charges alleged and the legal punishments that accompany them if convicted.

The trial resumes Tuesday with Judge Kathleen R. O’Connor presiding.

Tom Nadeau

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