Marcus Fiesel

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Marcus Fiesel
Born (2003-06-24)24 June 2003
Died 4 August - 6 August, 2006 (aged 3)
Union Township, Clermont County, Ohio
Cause of death
Child Abuse

Marcus Fiesel was an American foster care child murder victim. On February 21, 2007 his foster mother Liz Carroll was convicted of murdering him. On, February 26, 2007, it was announced attorneys for his foster father, David Carroll had reached a plea agreement.[1]

Life with mother[edit]

Fiesel spent the first three years of his life with his mother Donna Trevino (née Fiesel) and his two siblings, Michael and Peaches, in Middletown, Ohio. He was described by a neighbor as "an awesome little guy" who loved flowers, Bob the Builder, and bubbles. According to friends, he was autistic and attended a school for special needs children.

Fiesel was a very active child, and his mother found it difficult to cope with him. A neighbor said she occasionally saw Trevino weeping with exhaustion.

Trevino also was suffering from domestic violence at the hands of her boyfriend, which led to frequent calls to the police. During these visits, police officers noticed that the home was infested with fleas and reeked of feces.

On September 29, 2005, police observed severe bruising on Fiesel's left buttock. The family was also being investigated by child welfare workers, who had received complaints of abuse.

In January 2006, Fiesel crawled out of his second-story window and fell off the roof, resulting in a cut to his chin that required stitches.

In April 2006, Fiesel was found wandering the streets and was almost hit by a car. Trevino told police that "she didn't know if she could care for her children any more and that it was getting to be too much for her." She handed them over to Butler County.[2]

Foster care[edit]

Lifeway for Youth, a private agency contracted by the state foster care system, placed Fiesel in the care of foster parents Liz and David Carroll. At the time, they did not realize that David Carroll had a mental health issue that would have disqualified him from foster parenting if it was known and that a third adult, Amy Baker, said to be David and Liz Carroll's girlfriend, was living in the home. In June 2006, David Carroll was arrested on a domestic violence charge that was later dismissed. He did not report the arrest to Lifeway, as required.[3]

Family and friends said that David Carroll did not like Fiesel and was jealous of his "constant" need for attention from Liz Carroll and Baker. At one point he left his wife because he wasn't sure he wanted a life with her raising foster children. When he moved back in with his wife, he brought Baker with him.[4]

Disappearance[edit]

Liz Carroll reported that Fiesel had gone missing on August 15, 2006. She said that she had been at Juilf's Park in Anderson Township with four children (a child she had with David Carroll, another foster child, a toddler she was babysitting, and Fiesel) when she blacked out due to low blood pressure. She said when she regained consciousness, Fiesel was missing.[4][5]

Hundreds of people, and search dogs, searched the area as part of the official search for Fiesel. Thousands more searched surrounding neighborhoods independent of the official search. [4]

On August 22, 2006, Liz Carroll held a press conference asking that whoever may have taken Fiesel return him. She said, "I need help from the public to help my son, Marcus is my son. I know people think foster care is temporary, but please return him to a hospital. [...] Waking up every morning and not having him run to me is very difficult. I am closer than his birth mother to him."[5]

Because no witnesses reported seeing Fiesel in the park with Liz Carroll on August 15, and no trace of him was found, police and the public grew suspicious of Liz and David Carroll's claims.[6]

Discovery of Fiesel's death[edit]

Fiesel's incinerated remains were discovered on an 88-acre (360,000 m2) estate owned by Mike Cales in Brown County, Ohio. Police said that Liz and David Carroll had left Fiesel locked in a closet, bound with a blanket and packing tape,[7]while they attended a family reunion in Williamstown, Kentucky August 4-August 6, 2006. This was confirmed by Liz Carroll in testimony before a grand jury on August 28, 2006; she claimed, "I didn't have any intentions of hurting him."[8] Fiesel was left without food or water, but authorities believed he was killed by heat rather than dehydration or starvation, as temperatures in the closet may have reached 105-110°F. They found him dead when they returned home. Authorities believed it was David Carroll and Amy Baker who incinerated Fiesel's body. Amy Baker was granted immunity in Ohio in return for testimony, but is currently facing extradition from Ohio to Kentucky for a Tampering with Evidence charge against her brought up by Mason County, Kentucky. Amy Baker confessed to helping to dispose of the body in the Ohio River. The charges against her have now been dropped.[6][9]

Charges against Liz and David Carroll[edit]

Liz and David Carroll are the prime suspects in Fiesel's death. Both Liz and David Carroll were indicted in Clermont County, Ohio and Hamilton County, Ohio for playing a part in Fiesel's death and hindering the police investigation into Fiesel's disappearance.

On August 28, 2006 Liz and David Carroll were indicted by a Hamilton County Grand Jury on two counts of child endangerment, and one count of involuntary manslaughter. David Carroll was charged with an additional count of gross abuse of a corpse.[10][11][12]

A day later on 29 August, 2006 additional Hamilton County indictments were made against the Carrolls. Both David and Liz were charged on one count of making false alarms, and one count of inducing panic. Furthermore, David was charged with one count of gross abuse of a corpse. Liz was charged with two additional charges of perjury.[13]

On 1 September, 2006 Clermont County Prosecutor Don White and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters held a joint press conference, where they discussed plans for prosecuting the defendants. All murder and/or homicide charges were to be prosecuted by Clermont County, since Fiesel's death occurred inside the Carroll's Union Township home. However, since State of Ohio contends the Carrolls attempted to cover up Fiesel's death in Anderson Township, Hamilton County, Ohio all charges related to inducing panic and covering up the death of the child would be prosecuted in Hamilton County.[14]

Several days later on Wednesday September 6, 2006 a Clermont County grand jury indicted David Carroll on eight criminal counts. The charges against the Carrolls included: murder (1 count each), involuntary manslaughter (1 count each), kidnapping (1 count each), felonious assault (1 count each), endangering children (3 counts each). David Carroll was also charged with one count of gross abuse of a corpse.[15][16]

Trials[edit]

Liz Carroll was found guilty of all charges on February 21, 2007. The jury, made up of nine women and four men, deliberated for 4-6 hours. The trial lasted for 10 days beginning on February 12, 2007 and ending on February 21, 2007. Her lawyer Gregory A. Cohen has promised to appeal. The appeal is also over a report that a juror reportedly said in an interview that she "knew in her heart Liz Carroll was guilty".

During closing comments the assistant prosecutor Daniel Breyer said "They say you wouldn't treat a dog like that, and you know what? She [Liz] wouldn't! She took the dog with her. She took the dog with her." He referred to the Carrolls taking their dog with them to their family reunion, but leaving Fiesel at home. After the assistant prosecutor's closing remarks Liz Carroll said: "The dog was alive!"[17] [18]

She was sentenced to 54 years to life on February 22, 2007.

After accepting a plea deal, David Carroll pleaded guilty to murder and gross abuse of a corpse. The judge accepted his plea, and sentenced Carroll to 16 years to life in prison. Carroll said that Amy Baker bound Fiesel, but he admitted he was present.

On Friday, April 20, 2007, the Commonwealth of Kentucky charged Amy Baker with Tampering with Evidence. Prosecutors in Kentucky claim that the immunity she was given was only with the state of Ohio and Kentucky has jurisdiction over the Ohio river. She waived extradition and is currently defending charges brought against her in Kentucky, which carry a maximum five-year sentence. Her attorneys are currently moving both to dismiss all charges against her and to suppress all testimony given by her in the prosecutions of Liz and David Carroll and are alleging that the Kentucky prosecutor promised Ohio prosecutors to give Amy Baker immunity in Kentucky as well. Her trial was set for November 7, 2007, in Maysville, Kentucky. Her charges were then dropped in early 2008.

Memorials[edit]

On Saturday, April 21, 2007, the chimney which was used to burn Fiesel's remains was demolished and turned into a memorial to him in a peaceful setting.

Hanlon Park-Georgetown, OH, a Bench was dedicated to his memory on what would have been his 4th birthday, June 24, 2007.

Effects on foster care in Ohio[edit]

The case of Fiesel's death has led to many questions over the placement of foster children within the state of Ohio and elsewhere. Lifeway, the agency that placed Fiesel with the Carrolls, had its license revoked.[8] Several bills have been put before the United States Congress and investigations continue into why Fiesel was placed with the Carrolls. Many placement organizations have since modified their procedures and intensified their background screening for potential foster parents. In all, state legislators, foster care workers, and child advocates have recommended 55 changes to Ohio's foster care system.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ London, John (2007-02-26). "David Carroll To Take Plea Deal In Marcus Fiesel Case" (Television News Coverage). WLWT [Cincinnati] News. Retrieved 2007-02-26. 
  2. ^ Kelley, E. (2006-09-03). "Short, sad life of Marcus: Little boy's death touched many". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  3. ^ McLaughlin, Sheila; Eileen Kelley; Margaret McGurk (August 25, 2006). "Caseworker didn't see Marcus: Foster mom said he was sick in last visit Aug. 10, county says". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  4. ^ a b c Kelley, Eileen; Quan Truong (August 27, 2006). "Questions abound: Questions intensify amid search for missing boy". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2007-02-01. 
  5. ^ a b Terrell, Candice (August 22, 2006). "Foster parents of missing boy hold news conference". 9News, WCPO.com. Archived from the original on 2006-10-14. Retrieved 2007-02-01. 
  6. ^ a b Coolidge, Sharon (August 29, 2006). "Marcus left in closet, burned: 3-year-old's foster parents accused of locking him up while they went to reunion". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2007-01-31. 
  7. ^ O'Rourke, Tanya (August 31, 2006). "Timeline: What happened to Marcus". The death of Marcus Fiesel. WCPO.com. Archived from the original on 2006-10-13. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  8. ^ a b Kinney, Terry (February 11, 2007). "Murder trial set for foster mom of developmentally disabled boy". AP Wire. Retrieved 2007-02-12. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Police: 'Missing' toddler killed by foster parents". Foxreno.com. August 29, 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-01. 
  10. ^ Foster boy dead; Foster parents charged with involuntary manslaughter, WCPO-TV
  11. ^ Hamilton County Court Record for David Carroll, Hamilton County Clerk of Courts
  12. ^ Hamilton County Court Record for Liz Carroll, Hamilton County Clerk of Courts
  13. ^ New charges, information in Fiesel case, WCPO-TV
  14. ^ Carrolls to be tried in both Clermont and Hamilton counties, WCPO-TV
  15. ^ Clermont County Court Record for David Carroll, Clermont County Clerk of Courts
  16. ^ Clermont County Court Record for Liz Carroll, Clermont County Clerk of Courts
  17. ^ Foreman, Liz (January 31, 2007). "WCPO.com to live stream Liz Carroll trial". The death of Marcus Fiesel. WCPO.com. 
  18. ^ Brunsman, Barrett J. (February 6, 2007). "Carroll trial reset for March 19". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2007-02-06. 
  19. ^ Walton, Jenell (February 12, 2007). "Marcus Fiesel's death sparks foster system changes". 9News. WCPO.com. Retrieved 2007-02-12. [dead link]

External links[edit]