Jurors can hear that a Jackson Township man who allegedly fired 30 large-caliber bullets into the home of his neighbor later expressed disappointment the neighbor escaped injury, the state Superior Court has ruled.
After firing the bullets through his own wall and into the adjoining home, William A. Marx Jr. held officers at bay for five hours before being arrested, police said.
Northern York County Regional Detective William Haller then took Marx to York Hospital because Marx was intoxicated. After sleeping for several hours, Marx awoke and asked Haller not to keep him in suspense.
"He said, 'Did I miss her or did I hit her?'" Haller previously testified. He said Marx "became genuinely upset" when he learned Joan Mayhew wasn't hurt:
"I was shooting at her, not you. ... I wish I would've at least hit her," Marx allegedly told Haller.
Miranda issue: At a Feb. 22 suppression hearing, York County Common Pleas Judge Richard K. Renn granted a request by defense attorney Steve Rice to suppress those statements at trial.
Rice successfully argued Marx hadn't properly been given his Miranda rights against self-incrimination.
Haller read Marx his rights at York Hospital, but it was while Marx was obviously drunk. Haller didn't question Marx until about 2-1/2 hours later, after Marx had slept off much of that intoxication, hearing testimony revealed.
Instead of re-reading Marx his Miranda rights, Haller merely asked Marx if he remembered having those rights read to him earlier. Marx replied, "Yes, sir," according to Haller's previous testimony.
In throwing out the defendant's statements, Renn said he had "significant questions" about whether Marx understood his rights and was able to knowingly waive them.
Overturned: The York County District Attorney's Office appealed to the state Superior Court, which on Nov. 21 overturned Renn's suppression ruling.
In its opinion, the Superior Court noted that by the time Marx made the statements, he was "lucid and no longer too intoxicated to understand why he was arrested."
The appeals court also noted that Marx said he remembered being Mirandized and did not take back his prior statement that he understood those rights. Because of that, Haller didn't need to repeat the Miranda warnings to Marx, the Superior Court ruled.
The background: Northern Regional Police rushed to Marx's home at 77 S. Alpine Drive about 9:45 a.m. June 9, 2011, after receiving a call from his sister, who reported Marx had been drinking and was armed and suicidal, according to court documents.
Police made contact with Marx, who told them he intended to shoot officers and himself, documents state. He forced a five-hour standoff that ended when he surrendered about 2:30 p.m.
During the standoff, Marx fired about 30 bullets from multiple guns through his wall and into Mayhew's adjoining home, according to police. Mayhew was home at the time.
Arsenal: Those weapons included a .50-caliber revolver, a .40-caliber handgun, two .38-caliber handguns and a Tec-9 handgun, police said.
After arresting Marx, officers found electronic equipment he allegedly used to monitor Mayhew's telephone calls, and also found a small remote-controlled camera device that Marx allegedly used to monitor police during the standoff.
Marx apparently was angry with Mayhew because he'd twice been cited with disorderly conduct for loud noise after she complained to police about him, according to prosecutors.
'Lost it': But Rice has said Marx didn't intend to hurt or kill anyone, including Mayhew.
"This guy was suicidal and lost it," Rice said, adding Marx is an alcoholic with mental-health issues.
He'd been fired from his job the night before because of his drinking, according to prior testimony.
"Everything was falling apart," Rice said. "This is a good man who did a bad thing. ... He needs help."
Marx remains in York County Prison on $1 million bail, charged with offenses including attempted homicide, aggravated assault, stalking, intercepting communications and 30 counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied structure.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.