Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater man on trial for murder in Pasco claims sexual assault

Public defender Dean Livermore, left, speaks with his client, Marcus Yulvaughne Wilson, during jury selection for the murder trial Monday at the West Pasco Judicial Center.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Public defender Dean Livermore, left, speaks with his client, Marcus Yulvaughne Wilson, during jury selection for the murder trial Monday at the West Pasco Judicial Center.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Two men in a white Dodge pulled up to Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park last year. Christopher Ashton Martin had just turned 30, and, according to prosecutors, he was going to camp overnight with Marcus Yulvaughne Wilson, then 18.

Martin spoke with an attendant, according to testimony in court, and selected campsite No. 2.

The two drank through the night and Wilson passed out, authorities said. It was May 13, 2012, Mother's Day.

Wilson woke up to Martin performing oral sex on him sometime after midnight, according to a report. Martin had two handguns with him, prosecutors say, and Wilson shot Martin in the back of the head with one of them. He told deputies he lost his temper and kicked Martin in the back, and then he fired the gun.

"This is about two men, a park and an execution," prosecutor Chris Sprowls told jurors Tuesday.

Sprowls called it so because of gunpowder burns on the back of Martin's head — indicative of a close-range shot.

Wilson, now 20, sat and listened as Sprowls went through the evidence during opening statements. Wilson is charged with first-degree murder and faces life in prison if convicted.

After the shooting, prosecutors say, Wilson covered Martin's body with a sleeping bag. He took the guns, $40 and the Dodge.

An attendant working at the park found Martin's body, first thinking the person under the sleeping bag was either drunk or asleep.

Wake up, he said. He pulled off the bag, saw the bullet wound and called authorities.

Deputies found the car later at Wilson's residence at 15759 Avalon Ave., Apt. A, in Clearwater. They found the guns in a backpack, along with some of Martin's belongings. Investigators matched Wilson's DNA on a cigarette butt and beer bottle found at the scene.

The arrest report said Wilson was a student at Mavericks High School, a charter school geared toward at-risk youth.

Dean Livermore, Wilson's attorney, agreed there was an altercation but gave a different conclusion to the events.

Martin sexually assaulted Wilson, Livermore told the jury, and Wilson was going for his gun when Martin shot him. Deputies found a 9mm magazine in Martin's pocket.

"It's justifiable use of deadly force," Livermore said.

Jurors saw a video of the crime scene in court. Martin was facedown slumped over on his side with an arm outstretched, on the brown foliage. The video showed marked cigarette butts, beer bottles and a condom wrapper.

Prosecutors plan to call more witnesses as the trial continues today.

Clearwater man on trial for murder in Pasco claims sexual assault 11/19/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 7:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Editorial: A proud moment for civic involvement in Hillsborough County

    Editorials

    It took private citizens less than 24 hours to do what their elected leaders in Hillsborough County could not for the past three months: Find the moral fortitude and the money to move a century-old Confederate war memorial from outside the county courthouse. Thursday's achievement was a lesson in leadership to county …

    The Hillsborough County Commission dithered for three months over moving the Memoria in Aeterna monument from the old county courthouse.
  2. Fort Myers woman arrested for doing cocaine off iPhone in parent pick-up line

    Bizarre News

    A Fort Myers woman was arrested Tuesday after police saw her snorting cocaine off her iPhone while in the parent pick-up line at a Lee County middle school.

    Christina Hester, 39, faces two different drug-related charges, according to police records. [Lee County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Tropical Storm Harvey forms in Atlantic

    Hurricanes

    UPDATE: At 5 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  4. Editorial: Pinellas should join lawsuit challenging new state law

    Editorials

    The Florida Legislature has been on a cynical, constitutionally dubious quest to render local school boards powerless. The most direct assault is a new state law that strips school boards of much of their authority when it comes to the creation and funding of charter schools. It's time for the Pinellas County School …

  5. Editorial: Fix funding unfairness in Florida foster care system

    Editorials

    Many of the children in Florida's foster care system already have been failed by their parents. The last thing these kids need is to be failed by bureaucracy, too, and yet that's exactly what appears to be happening because of a needlessly rigid funding formula set up by the Florida Legislature. Child welfare agencies …

    The Legislature may have had good intentions when it came up with the funding plan, but it’s obvious that there is some unfairness built into it. The funding may be complicated, but the goal is simple: Making sure every child in need gets the help he or she needs.