Deputy’s Suicide

Deputy Kills Self Before Sentencing 5/26/93

By William Simonsen

Annapolis, Md. — Former Flathead County deputy sheriff Ed Marriott shot and killed himself Tuesday just hours before he was to be sentenced on incest charges.

Marriott, 50, of Bigfork, was due in court in at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to be sentenced for sex crimes. He faced a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Marriott walked into the bathroom in the emergency room of the North Arundel Hospital in Annapolis, Md., at 8:50 a.m., eastern time, and shot himself once in the heart with a .38-caliber pistol, said Det. Sgt. Bob Jashik of the Anne Arundel County Police.

Jashik said Marriott died immediately from the wound.

“He made statements to several people that he wouldn’t go to jail. Apparently he was right,” said Jashik.

Jashik said Marriott stopped at a gas station about two blocks from the hospital about 7 a.m. Jashik said Marriott gave the attendant at the station a letter addressed to Circuit Court Judge Raymond Thieme who was assigned to sentence him. Contents of the letter weren’t immediately disclosed.

Marriott feigned an inability to speak while at the gas station, said Jashik.

Jashik said that Marriott’s whereabouts between his stop at the gas station until he went to the hospital are unknown.

Florence Steffin, spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County, said authorities did not know where Marriott got the weapon he used to shoot himself.

Steffin said the department would not release the contents of the note to Thieme because it is part of an ongoing police investigation. She said authorities may decide to release the note when the investigation is complete.

Steffin said no formal inquest is planned in the death because foul play is not suspected.

Marriott was staying with his with his mother, Eve Ruth, in Glen Burnie, Md., while awaiting sentencing.

Marriott entered an Alford plea — in effect, a guilty plea —  April 6 to one count of unnatural and perverted sexual practice for each of two victims in Thieme’s court.

Last week his attorney, Gary Mandel, said Marriott had completed a psychological evaluation required by the judge before sentencing. Mandel said the evaluation was done by state psychologists.

Mandel’s office said he was enroute to Annapolis when an Eagle reporter attempted to reach him for comment Tuesday morning.

Marriott was arrested by at his home in Ferndale last Oct. 15 after a six-hour standoff with Flathead County Sheriffs officers during which he threatened to shoot himself. He had earlier been hospitalized after threatening to commit suicide.

He was arrested on a warrant from Maryland.

Maryland authorities said the arrest followed investigations in Montana, Maryland, Pennsylvania abd Mississippi.

Marriott was charged in a 24-count indictment handed down by a Maryland grand jury in December. The crimes in the indicment allegedly occurred in Glen Burnie, Md., prior to 1980.

The charges ranged from rape to incest. He could have been sentenced to two life sentences and up to an additional 200 years in prison if he had been found guilty on all the charges.

Marriott and his attorney reached a plea bargain agreement with the prosecutor in the case in early April.

April 6 he entered an Alford plea — tantamount to an admission of guilt — to one count of unnatural and perverted sexual practice for each of the two victims listed in the indictment, in exchange for the remainder of the charges being dropped.

Cynthia Ferris, a prosecutor with the State’s Attorney in Anne Arundel County, Md. said no bargain was reached concerning the length of the sentence to be given to Marriott.

Ferris said Marriott admitted to the abuse of his daughters in Montana, Alaska, North Dakota and Pennsylvania. She said Marriott denied the allegations of crimes in Maryland.

Flathead County Sheriff Jim Dupont said his office received a call from Marriott’s wife, Tammy, early Tuesday morning. Dupont said she blamed him and other deputies for Marriott’s suicide. “But she was hysterical,” Dupont said.

Monday, Ed Marriott’s brother Norman, 52, was sentenced on one count of unnatural and perverted sexual practice for each of two victims.

Norman Marriott was given a four-year jail sentence with all but two years suspended, said Cindy Haworth, a victim’s advocate with the State’s Attorneys Office in Anne Arundel County, Md.

Haworth said Norman Marriott was sentenced to spend one year in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center, then a second year under house arrest.

Haworth said he will be required to complete five years of supervised probation after he completes the house arrest portion of his sentence.

Norman Marriott was arrested in late October at his home in Pennsylvania and charged with a 24-count grand jury indictment.

Norman also pleaded guilty to reduced charges in early April.

Marriott took a disability retirement from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Department in September after suffering a back injury when he fell off a horse. He was a deputy in Flathead County for 11 years. He was a law enforcement officer in North Dakota before moving to Montana.

Tammy Marriott told the Eagle that funeral services were incomplete, but will be held in Maryland.

© 2013 William Simonsen. All rights reserved.

Mary’s Story 10/5/92

By William Simonsen

Kalispell, Mont. —  (Editor’s Note: The following are women’s stories, taken from investigative records filed in Flathead County. Experts say public awareness of these problems is needed to protect other children from being sexually molested.)

For Mary (not her real name), childhood holidays weren’t filled with hope, joy and innocence.

It was during holidays — Christmas, Thanksgiving and her birthdays — that she was most often targeted by her father for sexual molestation.

Thoughts of Thanksgiving, she said, filled her with dread.

She said her father forced her to pretend she was ill on Thanksgiving, and stay home alone with him. While the rest of the family went to a relative’s house for the traditional turkey feast, she was forced to engage in seven to eight hours of continuous sex acts.

“I hated Christmas and my birthday. He would make me have sex several times a day prior to these holidays because he said he bought me really nice things and I had to earn them,” she said.

Mom was no help.

Mary said her mother once discovered her naked in bed performing sex acts with her father. Her mother asked what was going on. Her father said he was helping the girl warm up because it was a cold night.

Her mother turned and walked out of the room, Mary said.

When the family traveled, her father made her ride in the car topless so he could fondle her as her drove, she said.

She was trained by her father to say “I’m your little whore. You can do anything to me,” while having sex with him, said Mary.

Other childhood memories Mary told investigators about:

Posing for photographs nude with her father; performing sex acts with her sister while her father photographed them with an instant camera; playing strip poker with him at an age when other girls played with dolls; and being forced to perform sex on him while he was driving the family car on vacation trips.

“I would disappear inside myself and pray to the Lord” while being forced to have sexual relations with her father, Mary said.

Two abortions and 15 years after the incest began, Mary moved out of the family home.

The father of the two aborted fetuses was her own father, she said.

Medical records show she was only 13 at the time of the first abortion, 17 at the time of the second.

The father of the girl, and of the growing fetus within her, wasn’t much comfort to her.

“I remember that my dad used to tell me that he wanted to drink my milk after I had children. After I had my abortions he would suck on my breasts extra long to try to make the milk start,” she said.

Mary said her brothers probably already knew what was going on between their father and sisters. She said her father would take all five children to X-rated movies at the drive-in.

He told lthe girls to pay close attention to what the women in the movies were doing. The movies would “show us what to do to him,” she said.

The woman said she shared a bedroom with her sister. On nights when she wasn’t being forced to have sex with her father, she said she could hear her father and sister having sex in the bed across the room.

There was never any respite from the constant unwanted attentions of her father.

When the family went to the her brother’s funeral in North Dakota, her father made her have sex with him several times per day. “I remember being extra upset because I felt like now my brother could look down on us and watch what was going on. It made me feel extra dirty,” she said.

Her father was a very religious church-going man. “I always thought church was a good cover-up for dad,” she said

When her marriage became troubled several years ago, Mary sought marriage counselling.

The memories came flooding back during her psychological therapy, the woman said.

Her sister is also currently in psychological therapy in an attempt to deal with her childhood sexual abuse.

The memories haunted her until she finally told authorities about the incidents.

When the abuse was reported, a tragic chain of events was unleashed which eventually led to arrest and suicide.

Her father was charged and arrested on a number of charges of sex crimes.

Her father was following a family pattern. Mary does not know how far back in family history the pattern of abuse stretches.

Her father came from a family of four brothers.

Three of the four brothers molested Mary and her sister.

One of the brothers who molsested Mary and her sister died several years ago.

Another of the brothers is currently serving a prison sentence for unnatural and perverted sexual practice in another state.

The third brother committed suicide rather than go to prison on similar charges.

The brothers molested each others daughters, the woman said.

The fourth brother would have nothing to do with the sexual abuse, Mary told authorities.

One of Mary’s brothers is currently facing charges on sex crimes against children.

The path of sexual abuse of children, and criminal behavior, has moved from generation to generation in her family.

The family history of child sexual abuse came to light when Mary and her sister found out their father’s new wife had a teenage daughter from a previous marriage, and was filing for custody. The daughters couldn’t live with the thought of another young girl being molested.

They told their father to either drop the custody action, or they would inform authorities of his actions.

He wouldn’t drop the action so the daughters went to the sheriff with their story.

Mary said she felt she had to come forward to keep another child from being molested, officials said.

Medical records of the abortions and photographs of the father nude with the children became part of the case against him.

The sheriff turned the case over to one of the detectives to investigate.

The detective said the biggest problem with the case was the length of time which had passed between the crimes and the reporting of the crimes.

Local authorities notified the FBI and attempted to get an federal investigation started suspecting violations of the Mann Act, which forbids the transportation of minors across state lines for sexual purposes.

Federal law was no use in the case because the statute of limitations has expired by the time the crimes were reported.

Eventually, Mary’s father was charged and arrested on a number of charges of sex crimes.

Even after being charged by authorities, the pressure on Mary to keep quiet didn’t stop.

She received telephone calls from her mother and grandmotehr asking her to just let the case drop and not testify against her father. Mary even got telephone calls from him asking her not to testify against him.

But Mary remained firm in her belief that she was acting to save another young girl from enduring the torture she had known as a child. She stood by her accusations.

Her father pleaded guilty in exchange for a reduction of the charges against him even though it meant he might spend time in prison.

The story of Tanya (not her real name) starts when she was 7 years old in the mid-1980s.

She had recently moved to Kalispell with her family and was living in an apartment next to a single man who was in his mid-forties at the time.

Tanya and her sister went for long rides in the country with the neighbor. The man had a job that entailed driving long distances in the rural areas of the county. The girls were riding along with the man “to keep him company.”

Several years after the rides in the country, Tanya remembered what had happened and told her mother.

Her mother took her to Flathead County authorities who filed sexual assault charges against the man.

Tanya and her sister testified against the man at his preliminary hearing.

He pleaded guilty, so the girls did not have to testify again.

At the sentencing hearing for the man both Tanya and her sister testified they had been molested by the man.

He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

But Tanya’s story does not end there.

Two years after the trial, she was overcome by depression and committed sucide.

One of Tanya’s friends, Laurie (not her real name), claimed she was molested by her father when she was 9 years old, in the mid-1980s.

Sexual assault charges were filed against the father when Laurie was 12 years old.

Her father pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was released on his own recognizance while awaiting trial.

The jury found him not guilty after hearing Laurie’s testimony and the testimony of her mother. Her mother testified on behalf of her father at the trial.

Four years after the trial, she attempted suicide shortly after her friend Tanya.

Laurie was unsuccessful in her attempt and is currently receiving professional counseling.

© 2013 William Simonsen. All rights reserved.

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