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March 16, 2009

Jury convicts ex-Benicia High assistant football coach in WC drug deal gone bad

"Drug deal gone bad."

Sounds so Richmond, doesn't it? Not Walnut Creek.

Well, something of that sort happened here, and a Contra Costa County jury took just a day to render a guilty verdict on Monday of first-degree murder against Jonathan Marvin, 35.
Claycord.com reported it first, and the Mayor accompanied its post with this "enhanced" photo of the defendant, Marvin.

Marvin was convicted of coaxing Eric Martin, 30, of Pittsburg, to a parking lot behind a restaurant off North Broadway in December 2007. The parking lot is near the main Walnut Creek post office.
Marvin and Martin were, according to court testimony, friends and business partners in a marijuana growing and dealing scheme. In that parking lot, Marvin shot Martin five to six times to free himself of a debt of more than $10,000.

The Contra Costa Times, reporting on last week's closing arguments, had prosecutor Harold Jewett describing Marvin as a "hapless marijuana grower whose crop had gone bad."

The Times mentions that the victim, Martin, grew up in the Santa Cruz mountains and left behind a girlfriend and infant son. The mention of the infant son reminds me of one of the more poignant details of this case. It is how Martin was found slumped over the driver's seat of an Acura sedan early on a Monday morning and how an infant car seat could be seen in the back seat.
Marvin is scheduled to be sentenced May 22.

12 comments:

Mom's exhausted said...

Still reading your blog, even though I've been very busy and not commenting much!

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I don't much like how you start this post. I mean, there are drug busts all over the place -- Modesto, Fresno, Oakland, Daly City. You stereotypically pick Richmond -- the West-East dark-white CCC thing; which has a ring of small-mindedness. Sorry.

Soccer Mom said...

Anon 6:33: I'm sorry you don't like how I started this post, and I could have done it better. It was more intended as a swipe against my hometown and the attitude, among some locals and others, including in the media, that "drug deals gone bad" don't happen in a place like Walnut Creek. When they do. The local and Bay Area media gave this case a lot more attention than they would a similar shooting in a place, like, yes, Richmond.

Anonymous said...

Better have some DA's to prosecute those crimes, though! Fingers crossed the Board of Sups does the right thing!

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Marvin tried to kill a man in New Mexico in 1987. There needs to be a change in the laws that lets violent behavior as a juvenile show up on background checks. It just goes to show you that some people never change. The people who trusted their children were safe around this monster should be really upset that he was able to become a coach. If you don't believe me or want more details just ask in a new comment. I will gladly tell anyone who's interested.

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear about new mexico 1987.31ompaera

Anonymous said...

On August 27, 1987 Jonathan Marvin hit a man over the head with a 30" 2x4 and then used a very large hunting knife to slit his throat. He then went to the homecoming dance with no remorse whatsoever. He tried to blame it on a Hispanic male that he made up. In his locker the investigators found multiple pictures of his victim lying in a pool of blood just like at the crime scene and the angel of death was hovering overhead. They also found a satanic bible that was very worn in there also. He was tried as a juvenile by the scared D.A. and was found guilty and sentenced to 2 years in the juvenile corrections facility in Springer NM. He served just three months after his parents agreed to take him out of the state. I was not surprised to hear that he hurt someone else. Anyone that thinks that he is their friend and doesn't know this story just doesn't know him at all.

Anonymous said...

OK I messed up. It was September 27,1987. The pictures in the locker were drawings that he did in art class in the weeks following the incident while they were looking for the other guy. The Alamogordo Daily News should have the story in their archives if anyone doubts me.

Anonymous said...

So What are your thoughts after reading my story? I still think violent behavior as a juvenile should show up on a backround check. Especially when it comes to people in the educational system.

Anonymous said...

I was intrigued by your claim and looked into it. It seems that at 14 Jonathan Marvin witnessed a man getting assaulted and called the police. The police held this kid, and questioned him without a lawyer or parent, and eventually coerced him into confessing that he did it. The the victim apparently testified that Jonathan Marvin was not the assailant, but the court convicted him to two years. After serving over a year, the Court of Appeals reversed the conviction finding that the police forced him to confess to something he didn't do (look it up yourself- Court of Appeals #JV87107 and the Alamogordo Daily News archives) according to the report I read the drawings that you talked about were drawings of castles and dragons-typical for a 14 year old boy- drawn in school before he witnessed the assault. After that happening to this 14 year old kid, the next 20 something years it would seem that he was a pretty decent guy- there are numerous articles over the years in the Benicia Herald and Contra Costa Times dating back over a decade about Jonathan Marvin's community service. How how a father of 4, a business owner, and high school football coach goes from growing some pot to murdering somebody is beyond me and difficult to believe. Actually the whole case seems to be more than a little difficult to believe. I doubt we have all the facts, but one thing is certain, there were three guys in the parking lot in Walnut Creek that night- Jonathan Marvin, Eric Martin, and Rick Parada. The only one with a real criminal history was Parada who ironically was involved in a previous Vallejo shooting over marijuana, and was granted immunity to testify at Jonathan Marvins trial.

Anonymous said...

I was intrigued by your claim and looked into it. It seems that at 14 Jonathan Marvin witnessed a man getting assaulted and called the police. The police held this kid, and questioned him without a lawyer or parent, and eventually coerced him into confessing that he did it. The the victim apparently testified that Jonathan Marvin was not the assailant, but the court convicted him to two years. After serving over a year, the Court of Appeals reversed the conviction finding that the police forced him to confess to something he didn't do (look it up yourself- Court of Appeals #JV87107 and the Alamogordo Daily News archives) according to the report I read the drawings that you talked about were drawings of castles and dragons-typical for a 14 year old boy- drawn in school before he witnessed the assault. After that happening to this 14 year old kid, the next 20 something years it would seem that he was a pretty decent guy- there are numerous articles over the years in the Benicia Herald and Contra Costa Times dating back over a decade about Jonathan Marvin's community service. How how a father of 4, a business owner, and high school football coach goes from growing some pot to murdering somebody is beyond me and difficult to believe. Actually the whole case seems to be more than a little difficult to believe. I doubt we have all the facts, but one thing is certain, there were three guys in the parking lot in Walnut Creek that night- Jonathan Marvin, Eric Martin, and Rick Parada. The only one with a real criminal history was Parada who ironically was involved in a previous Vallejo shooting over marijuana, and was granted immunity to testify at Jonathan Marvins trial.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you with absolute certainty that the drawings are exact matches of the crime scene. The victim never testified that Johnathan was not the assailant. I was in the courtroom the whole time. I commend you for looking into the case but there are some facts that are simply wrong in your search. I just wanted people to know that he has a violent past and if he ever gets out of prison I'm sure he will hurt someone else again. He has no remorse or concern for other people. Thank you for your reply.