A county judge said he will allow a convicted rapist serving a three-year prison sentence to attend the funeral of his 4-year-old daughter who was killed Wednesday in an accident along an icy road near Winfield.
Guy Gordon Marsh Jr. of Westminster is expected to ask Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. for permission to leave the Maryland Correctional Institute in Hagerstown to attend services for his daughter, Sonia Marjorie Marsh, his lawyer said yesterday. Judge Burns said that he would honor such a request.
Marsh is in prison again after serving 14 years on an Anne Arundel County murder conviction that was overturned eight years ago. He was sentenced last year to a three-year term for violating the probation he was serving since pleading guilty in 1992 to second-degree rape for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Since October, Marsh has been awaiting Judge Burns' decision on his request for a reduction of that sentence. In his request, Marsh told the judge that he needed to be with his family. "My wife is a mother, and only able to do so much in taking care of the children," he said in a June letter to the judge. "They all need me, and I need them."
The accident in which his daughter was killed occurred when a 1994 Pontiac Sunbird driven by Marsh's wife, Mary Ruth Marsh, 26, slid off an icy Bloom Road in dense fog and struck a telephone pole shortly after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Mrs. Marsh, Sonia and Guy Gordon Marsh III, 2, were thrown from the car, police said.
Sonia died after midnight at the University Hospital in Baltimore. Mrs. Marsh and her son were taken to Carroll County General Hospital. The boy was treated for a broken bone and released to his grandparents, while Mrs. Marsh was reported in stable condition last night.
The accident occurred on Bloom Road near Baker Road. Police cited "speed too great for road conditions" as a factor in the crash.
Mrs. Marsh and her children live in the 1700 block of W. Old Liberty Road near Winfield.
At an emotional hearing in October, Marsh, 47, asked Judge Burns to suspend the rest of his prison sentence and set him free.
Judge Burns imposed the three-year sentence on June 13, after he found Marsh had violated the three-year probation he had been serving since pleading guilty to having sex with the couple's 13-year-old baby sitter.
The sole term of his probation -- obey all laws -- was broken in March when Judge Burns convicted Marsh of beating his wife and imposed the sentence.
The judge has yet to rule on the sentence reduction request, which on the day of the hearing he said would be rendered "in two weeks."
Marsh gained national attention when he was released from prison in 1987 after serving more than 14 years of a life-plus-10-year sentence.
That sentence stemmed from the June 1971 slaying of Charles R. Erdman, who was shot when he tried to stop a robbery at a Glen Burnie 7-Eleven. The conviction was overturned after a key witness admitted she had lied in her testimony.