Could a new California law free a teenage killer convicted as an adult for the brutal double homicide of an elderly couple? Erin Moriarty and 48 HOURS investigate the murders, the case against Daniel Marsh, and the new law in “Portrait of a Killer” to be broadcast Saturday, Feb. 23 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Six years ago, someone savagely stabbed to death Chip Northup, 87, and Claudia Maupin, 76, as they slept inside their Davis, Calif., home. Police found no physical evidence, and investigators thought they might have some challenges finding the killer.
“It was the most horrific, depraved murder I’ve ever seen as the district attorney in this county,” says Yolo County, Calif. District Attorney Jeff Reisig. “I was certain they were going to find some forensic evidence in the crime scene. A fingerprint, DNA, shoe prints, something, and they found nothing.”
However, two months after the April 14, 2013 murders, police got an unexpected tip from a teenager saying his best friend, then-15-year-old Daniel Marsh, had bragged about the murders.
In an interview with police, Marsh told them what happened. Prosecutors charged him as an adult. Experts diagnosed Marsh as a psychopath, who killed the couple for pleasure. Marsh told police, “I’m not going to lie. It felt amazing.” Marsh was tried as an adult, convicted and sentenced to 52 years to life.
What seemed to be a closed case was far from it.
Four years after Marsh’s conviction, a new California law has thrown his sentence into jeopardy. Now, his lawyers are arguing that Marsh should be re-sentenced as a juvenile. If successful, Marsh, now 21, might be released on his 25th birthday.
Claudia Maupin’s daughter, Victoria Hurd, tells 48 HOURS she’s traumatized by that thought.
“I went into PTSD immediately,” Hurd says. “And I said, ‘I can’t do this.’”
Matthew Soulier, a psychiatrist who interviewed Marsh for his defense, says he deserves a second chance.
“I don’t think he’s worth throwing away, in my opinion,” Soulier says.
Will Marsh eventually serve out his sentence, or will he get out early because of the new law?
Moriarty and 48 HOURS report on the case through interviews with the victim’s family members, prosecutors, attorneys and more.
48 HOURS: “Portrait of a Killer” is produced by Judy Rybak and Stephanie Slifer. Greg Fisher is the development producer. George Baluzy and Jud Johnston are the editors. Patti Aronofsky is the senior producer. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Judy Tygard is the executive producer.