Friday, May 21, 2010

Hagins trial opens with vivid retelling of tale of break-in, attack, confrontation

The sneak-in sex assault trial of suspect Marcus Charles Hagins opened in Yuba County Superior Court Thursday with vivid testimony from the victim and her mother, whose quick thinking kept an ugly situation from getting worse.

Hagins, 19, of Elverta is accused of furtively gaining entry to the Plumas Lake home of a high school friend during the wee small hours of a mid-May morning and trussing her up with tape and a ball gag in an apparent attempt to have sex with her.

But noisy dogs and muffled sounds coming from her daughter’s adjacent bedroom awakened her. It was about was about 4 a.m., the mother testified.

She went to check on her daughter's situation, the mother said.

As she approached the girl’s bedroom, “I saw a light under the door” and cautiously opened the door, the mother told the jury of nine women and three men.

She saw a tall, hooded figure looming over her daughter who seemed to be lying oddly on the bed.

“Something was wrong,” the mother said. Read more »

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hagins jury picked; 9 women, 3 men

A jury of nine women and three men was empanelled Tuesday in the Yuba County Superior Court trial of 19-year-old Elverta man Marcus Charles Hagins who faces multiple felony criminal charges including sexual assault and burglary.

Hagins is accused of five felony counts relating to a May 2009 break-in at a Plumas Lake home, during which an unnamed 19-year-old woman was allegedly attacked and threatened with a knife.

Judge Kathleen R. O’Connor ordered the jury to return Thursday morning for the trial to start. Wednesday is a court holiday.

The judge said earlier that 10 court days had been set aside for the trial, but it might not take that long.

Hagins allegedly entered the woman’s home during the night and stuffed a “ball gag” into her mouth for sexual purposes.

A tall, spare, quiet man, Hagins wore a dark suit in court today. He is represented by Sacramento attorney Michael G. Bowman.

The prosecutor in the case is Deputy District Attorney Jennifer R. Dupré-Tokos.

Three alternate jurors – two women and one man – were also selected.

by Tom Nadeau

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jury selection to resume
in Yuba sex, burglary trial

Jury selection is expected to resume tomorrow in Yuba County Superior Court in the home invasion sex offense trial of suspect Marcus Charles Hagins, 19, of Elverta.

Attorneys could not find an acceptable panel of 12 jurors and at least one alternate last week out of a pool of about 110 juror-candidates. Only 11 jurors could be agreed upon before the panel was depleted.

Another 110 prospective jurors filled out background questionnaires last week for the attorneys and judge to review. If the remaining seats are filled, the trial could begin as early as this afternoon.

A tall, thin, quiet man with dark hair, Hagins is accused of committing sex offenses during a burglary.

He allegedly entered the home of an unnamed Plumas Lake woman in the early hours of a May 2009 morning and stuffed a “ball gag” into her mouth for sexual purposes.

Plumas Lake is a bedroom community in south Yuba County near the juncture of the Feather and Bear rivers.

Deputy District Attorney Jennifer R. Dupré-Tokos is prosecuting the case. Sacramento attorney Michael G. Bowman stands in defense. Judge Kathleen O’Conner presides.

Barring any surprises or complications, the trial is expected to last about three days.

Tom Nadeau