Everett man convicted in barbell beating of wife

EVERETT — A jury on Wednesday quickly convicted an Everett man in the barbell beating of his wife last year.

A Sept. 8 sentencing date was set for Jeffery C. Marble, 49. He faces a standard sentencing range of 11 to nearly 14 years in prison, prosecutors said.

“We will be asking for the high end,” deputy prosecutor Valerie Shapiro said.

Marble could face federal charges based on evidence that he was trying to manufacture the deadly toxin ricin in his home. Jurors in his trial weren’t told about that aspect of the case.

The jury found Marble guilty of first-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment. Both charges involved a deadly weapon, the jury concluded.

The victim told jurors she was attacked on June 1, 2009, as she was leaving to go to the bank to sort out the family’s deteriorating financial situation.

Marble had hidden from her that the family’s home was in foreclosure.

The woman said she was first struck in the head with a pink barbell. More blows followed.

She said her husband smashed her head against a slate floor and shoved her body into a metal railing. She eventually convinced him to let her go to the bathroom. She tried to escape out a window but her husband pulled her down and continued to hit her, the woman said.

The attack only ended when the couple’s 16-year-old son returned home from school. The teen and his mother fled the house and a neighbor summoned help.

Federal agents weren’t far behind after ricin was found in the home and tests later showed the woman had been exposed to the toxin.

That information didn’t reach jurors. Any testimony about the ricin would have been too prejudicial to the defendant, who was on trial for an assault, Superior Court Judge Gerald Knight ruled earlier in the trial.

It’s against federal law to possess or manufacture ricin. FBI agents and federal prosecutors continue to investigate.

“It’s still pending with the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Shapiro said.

Marble allegedly told police he’d looked up recipes to turn castor seeds into ricin. He used a mortar and pestle to grind up the seeds in the family home but denied using it on his wife, according to court papers.

Marble told investigators he used the seeds to poison mountain beavers and moles, but it didn’t seem to be working.

He showed no emotion when the verdict was announced.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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