North San Juan stabbing suspect denied bail reduction
A North San Juan man suspected of stabbing another man in the chest during a fight outside the Brass Rail will have to stay in jail.
Nevada County Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger on Friday denied a motion to either release David Marson on his own recognizance or lower his bail, currently set at $75,000, to $25,000.
Marson, 34, faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon with an enhancement of inflicting great bodily injury in connection with the May 16 fight.
According to court documents, Marson had been engaged in an ongoing dispute with the victim and the two began arguing outside the bar at about 2 a.m.
Surveillance video shows Marson outside, with a knife in a sheath on his hip, exchanging words with someone out of the frame. He walks away but then turns around, unsheathing his knife. A woman and the alleged victim can then be seen running toward Marson, who thrusts the knife toward the man. The man grabs Marson and begins punching him and a melee ensues involving more patrons of the bar.
Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies responded and were flagged down by witnesses, who were taking the victim to the hospital. Marson had left the scene in a vehicle but was stopped soon thereafter and taken into custody.
After a preliminary hearing, Heidelberger issued a ruling that found enough evidence to hold Marson to answer on the charges. In the ruling, Heidelberger noted the alleged victim was unable to provide much in the way of testimony due to his level of intoxication at the time of the fight.
“Additionally, he appeared unwilling to cooperate with law enforcement,” she wrote.
Heidelberger noted Marson could be seen in the video “aggressively thrusting his knife several times” at the other man, who received a 1-1/2 inches long slice to the chest that initially bled quite a bit and that required treatment at the hospital.
“The evidence presented at the preliminary examination showed a fair probability that the defendant’s response to the assault by (the alleged victim) was unreasonable,” Heidelberger wrote. “The Court cannot find … that the defendant acted in self-defense.”
Similarly, Heidelberger could not say the injury sustained by the other man was not a significant injury.
But the judge noted, in the ruling and in court, that there is “significant” reasonable doubt as to what happened.
“The evidence may well raise a reasonable doubt as to his guilt when presented to a jury,” she wrote.
Deputy Public Defender Thomas Angell had argued for an own-recognizance release or a bail reduction on the grounds that setting bail according to a bail schedule without taking into consideration the defendant’s ability to pay is unconstitutional.
“The court should … ensure that the financial condition of release does not result in detention solely based on wealth,” Angell wrote in his motion.
Heidelberger said because she issued the holding order on the serious and violent felony as charged, she would not allow Marson to be released on a promise to appear. She kept bail at $75,000 due to safety concerns, she said.
Marson is set to return to court on July 19 with his trial scheduled to start July 30.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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