Images & Transcript
Selfie of Marcus Lillard
Transcript: Season 2, Episode 10
tucker, asks, marcus, witness, ada, choke, clark, testified, sex, marianne, drugs, testimony, sexual relationship, called, lillard, evidence, baldwin county, gbi, hand, date
I'm Penny Dearmin. This is season two Blood Town on Trial
Please be advised that this episode contains descriptions of drug use, suicidal ideation, and sexual acts that might be disturbing for some listeners. Today you will hear about the testimony of the 404 B witnesses, the former sexual partners of both Marcus and Clark; we are not allowed to identify these witnesses or play the audio of their voices from the courtroom. Up to this point, Blood Town has been told in the order that it happened and the details revealed at the same time they were made public. Season two in particular has detailed the evidence and testimony as the jury heard it. However, we did not include the 404 B witnesses in the order they were called during the trial. I found these witnesses and their accounts of what happened to them to be credible. Their testimony was emotional and reliving these experiences seemed traumatic to them at times. Nonetheless, the state had no case for felony murder or aggravated assault without their testimony. The case is predicated on several findings of fact. One: that Marianne Shockley was murdered by strangulation as we heard when the coroner testified. Two: that Marcus Lillard has a history of choking women, which we are about to hear from many of his former partners. Three: that Marcus Lillard committed the offense of aggravated assault when he choked Marianne Shockley, which caused her death. Marcus's prior sexual partners were able to testify as an exception to the rule that evidence is not admissible to prove conduct or other crimes under 404. B.
Their testimony was meant to show the defendant's intent, knowledge and lack of mistake or accident, as well as to show how the victim's fatal injuries were inflicted and by whom. Clark's prior sexual partners were allowed to testify to rebut the inference that his suicide was an admission of guilt, and to show his non violent nature and the absence of any choking or aggressive behavior. The jury heard the following witnesses before the 404 B witnesses testified first was Ayla Crippen Marianne's sister, this was the first time she testified about Marianne and Marcus and not the second time she talked about the letter that mentioned the white lady. Next was the 911 operator and the 911 call. Third was Chris Thomas of the Baldwin County Fire Rescue who first responded to the scene. Fourth was Lieutenant Andrew Brantley of the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office. Fifth was Sergeant Brandon Towe from the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office. He's the one who secured the crime scene with tape and took photos of the scene to preserve a record before the rain destroyed evidence. Sixth was Brian Hargrove GBI, crime scene specialist who took pictures, collected evidence and placed items in the evidence locker. Next was Adrianne Leonard Marcus's ex wife who Marcus called first for help with giving CPR. Eighth was Marcus's childhood friend who was also a respiratory therapist. He called, texted, and left a voicemail on her phone that night. This is when day one ended with a tornado siren and she finished her testimony at the beginning of day two. Number nine was another woman that Marcus messaged on Facebook at midnight. Marcus also called her via Facebook. She met Marcus at yoga and was also friends with Clark. She knew Clark from marriage counseling, yoga, and would run into him about once a week. 10th was Moriah Bray who testified about the Sunday night stoner parties. Number 11 was Dr. Sims-Stanley, the medical examiner who performed Marianne Shockley's autopsy.
The first 404 B witness took the stand on the second day after lunch. Each 404 B witness will receive a letter based on the order of their testimony. Witness A met Marcus at a bar she worked at several years before they started dating. ADA Malcor asks her to describe her relationship with the defendant and she says "sick." When asked why she says that the very day that she was discharged from inpatient treatment after a suicide attempt, they started dating that very day. She was also an active alcoholic and trying to stay sober. She was able to maintain her sobriety the first 90 days that she dated Marcus. She had done some drugs in the past, but she began not only using those drugs around the 90-day mark, but she was also introduced to new drugs while dating Marcus that she had never used before. ADA Malcor says, I'm sorry I have to go into this. But how would you describe your sexual relationship with the defendant? Witness A says that once drugs and alcohol became a part of their relationship, the sex seeedm to take off in an extreme manner. Marcus tied her up with silk ties to the bed. Her arms were stretched out as far as they could be above her and her legs were tied so that she couldn't move. This was the first time this happened. And she told them that she didn't like it. She says they didn't do it again. ADA Malcor asks if the defendant was different when he wasn't using drugs and alcohol versus when he was? Witness A says when he was using alcohol or drugs, it seemed that he wanted to push everything to the limits. Everything. As much as you could do, go as fast as you can go, stay awake as long as you could stay awake. Have as many people around you, call as many people, you know, nothing was off limits. It was just play hard. ADA Malcor asks, Were there good times? Was he charming? She says Marcus was very charming and very sweet. He sent her flowers to celebrate her getting a job and she was really surprised. And he was very kind in a lot of ways. Witness A confirms that Marcus did choke her during sex. She doesn't remember whose idea it was. She says that she was using drugs and alcohol every day to excess. She only really remembers one time when she was choked. One day when they had been partying with a group of people drinking, smoking weed, doing cocaine and taking pills, they had sex after everyone left. She was facing the corner of the room and he was behind her with his hand around her throat. He started to put a lot of pressure there, which initially she was okay with. But then she started to black out and she tapped his arm to indicate that it was not okay. She could not speak there was too much pressure for her to even make a noise. And then next thing she knows she's unconscious on the floor, and when she woke up she was terrified and angry. When asked how Marcus reacts, She says that he was standing over her and she believes he helped her up. She was offended at his nonchalant attitude about her being unconscious and remembers being very angry and hurt. She told him that was too hard. That was too effing hard. She thinks he apologized but he wanted to keep having sex. He wasn't done yet. And she was. ADA Malcor asks, when you did not want to continue to have sex, How did he act? Witness A says aggravated and went and did something else and left me sitting on the couch upset. She describes going to family land where there was a pond and having sex in a camper. Another time on the lake, He was on top of her having sex when he put his body weight and held down her arms. She told him to stop because she wasn't enjoying it at all. But she says that he slapped her and told her to "take it." He either called her a hoe or a bitch, she can't remember which one. She says, "And I was looking at the wall. And this is your boyfriend, and this is how he's treating you. And I was shocked, actually, that that's what was happening." Witness A says in the most heartbreaking way imaginable, We were involved for at least another six months after that, because sometimes he was really nice. And I didn't want to be alone. I really didn't want to be alone. After a stay at an inpatient rehab, she did see him but decided as a sober person that she didn't want to be with him anymore. When she heard about Marianne's death and the fact that Marcus was there. Witness A says, my next thought was about the time that he choked me out while we were having sex. And I said, Oh, that's what happened. She says she was contacted by the GBI almost immediately. On cross, Mr. Tucker tries to pin down when their first date was and she isn't sure and she answers yes When he asks if it was a different day than when they first met. Mr. Tucker asks, was it daytime or nighttime when you were doing drugs with the other people you mentioned? And she says it was dusk. Mr. Tucker says so basically, there's just a sexual relationship. And Witness A says basically, as soon as Mr. Tucker finishes asking, and you've had sexual relationships with other men before, correct, ADA Malcor is on her feet objecting to the relevance of the question. Mr. Tucker responds, The relevance is I'd like to know what kinds of sexual experiences she has that she brought into the relationship if she's had.. Judge Burleson says, it has to deal with a specific and Mr. talker interrupts it's going to deal with choking. The Judge says you can ask that question. Mr. Tucker asks, How many other relationships have you had where your partner has put their hands around your neck or on you? Witness A says nobody else had ever choked her up to that point. Mr. Tucker asks if there was a belt around her neck during the incident she described and she said it was his arm. Mr. Tucker asks, if she got up and continued having sex? She says no, and she was not okay. After that. Even though she says that she doesn't remember taking ecstasy with Marcus. She has taken it before. When Mr. Tucker asks, and when taking this ecstasy, does it affect your judgment of what's going on at the time? And she says, Yes. Mr. Tucker asks about her medical condition and whether it could be an explanation for her passing out. And she says no, she has never just blacked out like that before. Mr. Tucker asks, but you still like to have loss of oxygen during sex. Witness A says honestly, at that point in my life. I did not care if I lived or died. And you've made it through that time of life, correct? Mr. Tucker asks. She says, I have. Mr. Tucker says by doing so you've got ties with a lot of people, right? Yes, she answers. And do you have animosity against those people? No, she says. Mr. Tucker, they were not good for you. Witness A says, we were not good for each other. Mr. Tucker: So it was a bad relationship because you're not good for each other? She says Not necessarily. We can learn from people. And so that to me, that makes them not necessarily be a bad relationship. Mr. Tucker:So it's fair to say that you do not like Marcus Lillard? She says it's not fair to say that I have ill will towards Marcus Lillard. Mr. Tucker asks at any time has Marcus tried to kill you?Witness A says no.
Witness B is still friends with Marcus and likes Marcus. On one of the first times they got together. She would not describe what Marcus did to her as choking rather that he put his hands on her throat. When asked, she says he did put a little bit of pressure on her throat. She told him she wasn't into that. ADA Malcor asks, did the two of you discuss that before he did it? And she says no. She says that he never tried it again after she told him she didn't like it. ADA Malcor asks witness B to describe Marcus's behavior on drugs and she says that on cocaine he was talkative hyper stayed up all night. Marijuana, he's more chill, calm. On cross, Mr. Tucker says I'm sorry. You didn't volunteer to come out here, did you? She says no, sir. It was one hand that Marcus placed around her neck during sex. She says he stopped immediately when she stopped him. Witness C knew Marcus from work and they had a sexual relationship. They would hang out with friends, go to bars, party, and do Drugs, marijuana, cocaine and drinking. She says that he would choke her during sex that it was consensual but not too often. She says, "I wanted it done. It was something that I asked for." ADA Malcor asks, did he ever choke you to the point that you lost consciousness? Witness C says yes for a very short amount of time. ADA Malcor asks, and did that frighten you? She says no. She says that lasted less than five seconds. Ada Malcorra shows her state's exhibit which is a text message exchange between her and Marcus on Friday, May 10 2019. She tries to tender it into evidence and Mr. Tucker objects as to relevance. A little sidebar later and it is entered over objection. She publishes it to the jury. In the text exchange, Marcus says what time he'll be by and tells her to get Molly. It reads: "I just want my dick to last all night. That's what I want it for. Get a Viagra from your daddy. Haha." This was on May 10 at a little after 5pm The day before Marcus and Marianne went bar hopping in Milledgeville and then went to Clark's house. On cross, Mr. Tucker says there was some ecstasy during your time together. Correct? And Witness C says they never ended up doing ecstasy together. He says, you like the fetish of putting the hands around your neck correct? And she says yes. He asks if it is one hand or hands and she says she assumes hand but she can't remember. He asks if she was intoxicated that time she lost consciousness and she says Yes, very. Mr. Tucker asks, and do you think Marcus is a good guy? And she says yes. He's never done anything to put you in fear of your life, has he? She says no. She confirms that they did not end up seeing each other that night, May 10 2019. Mr. Tucker asks when she has taken Molly in the past, did it affect her perception judgment of what was going on? And the concept of time as far as how long something has been going on? And she says yes. There is a bit of a break from the 404 B witnesses as Johnny Bud Mitchell takes the stand. After Bud is Witness D who met Marcus through business and they had a consensual sexual relationship. ADA Malcor asks if the defendant ever tried to choke her. She says he tried to but she stopped him and he didn't fight back or get aggressive when she did that. She says he respected her wishes. ADA Malcor asks, did he tried to choke you again? Witness D says he did. She told him no and he stopped. She says he was very sexual and liked rough sex. She says she was around him when he did cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy. ADA Malcor asks how these drugs affected his behavior. Witness D says she never saw Marcus when he was not on something. He was never angry or violent or abrasive towards her. Mr. Tucker asks, did you come out here on your own freewill today? She says she was subpoenaed. He asks, Do you want to be here? And she says, For Marianne's family. Yes, sir. Mr. Tucker says you testified he was a good guy, wasn't aggressive, and y'all just had good sex. Witness D corrects him. I didn't say he was a good guy. I didn't say we had good sex. I said we had sex. Mr. Tucker says but you kept going back for it, didn't you? She says, mmhmm. You mentioned one time when he put a hand around your neck. Mr. Tucker says as ADA Malcor objects that he is mischaracterizing the evidence. She did not say it was one time she said it was more than one time and this has been a pattern. Mr. Tucker asks, How many times did he put his one hand around your neck? She says twice. And when you told him did he take that one hand off your neck? Yes, she whispers. Witness E is another ex partner of Marcus Lillard. Like many of the other women who testified she said they were friends who had sex but didn't really date. They also used drugs together. She thinks mostly weed and alcohol, maybe cocaine. She says she used meth but he didn't do it with her at that time. ADA Malcor asks about their sexual relationship. Witness II says that he did choke her and that it was consensual. Malcor asks for more detail and she says in the doggy style position with his hand around her throat. Witness E says she asked for it. It's kind of her thing. ADA Malcor asks, Did you enjoy it? She says yes. It probably happened eight times over a few months, but she did not lose consciousness. Malcor asked how long did the sexual relationship last and she says a couple of months if that. Her life was in shambles after a breakup. Mr. Tucker says Witness E How are you doing today? She says I'm in better. How are you? He asks if in the sexual relationship if it was a fetish that she prefers. And she says Correct. He restates all of the state's questions and she confirms her answers. He asks, did you ask him to perform that? She says, I did. He says, "no hard feelings for him?" She says, he's a good guy. Witness F and Marcus knew each other from around town and got to be closer when she was going through a divorce. She was having a hard time and they went on a few dates downtown, at his house as well. She confirms that they did have a sexual relationship. And once on his family land, They were being intimate and she says he choked her from behind. He squeezed the back of her neck and choked her. ADA Malcor asks if that was something she wanted him to do. And she says no. Melkor asks if she told him to stop? When she says no, Malcor asks, why not? Witness F starts to break down and cry, says she had been through a recent tragic event and didn't have much will to live so she didn't do anything. ADA Malcor asks, did the choking become uncomfortable or cause you to become afraid? She says yes. What happened? I felt like I was fading and it just stopped. She says she didn't faint but it felt like she was about to. Everything seemed to be just kind of going away but then it stopped. ADA Malcor asks if Marcus was in a state of undress outside after they were intimate and she says yes. Malcor asks if she ever talked to Marcus after that? Witness F says no, that he texted her and she said she did not need to talk to him that he was not good for her. Mr. Tucker asks Witness F it seems you're very upset about this. Is it because you don't want to speak about this or the subject matter where you just don't want to put your information out there? She says, No, it's because it caused PTSD. He says he doesn't want to cause any more of that. He asks, you stated that he squeezed on the back of your neck, was it with one hand or two hands? And she says, I don't recall. Witness G also knew Clark Heindel. He was originally her therapist, and then a few years later, they dated briefly but decided to just be friends. She says that Clark never choked her, nor did he express interest in choking her. ADA Malcor asks, over the years during your friendship with Clark, did you ever see him become violent or aggressive? No. Did Clark have a bad temper? She says no. She and Clark did not use drugs together. But he did tell her about taking ayahuasca and that it was really cool. That was the end of day two's testimony. And now at the start of day three, Nikki Simmons of the GBI takes the stand and testifies about her conversation with Johnny Bud Mitchell. Witness H was Clark Heindel's former partner. She says that he was never violent towards her. ADA Coffey asks, In lovemaking. Did he ever tried to choke you? Or was he rough? Witness H says no, never. ADA Coffey asks if she has ever observed Clark in a situation where he might have been upset. She says, I'm sure I have. What were his mannerisms when he was upset? It was very introspective. He would pace he would walk back and forth and try to figure out what he was going to say after his son died. I saw him even right after that, he would walk back and forth along the edge of the lake just trying to get his thoughts together. Mr. Tucker says you were in a relationship with Clark a decade ago.
Is that fair to say? Yes. Mr. Tucker asks, did you ever see him suicidal or talk about suicide after the passing of his son? And she says no. Mr. Tucker asks what was Clark's previous occupation? She says psychologist, witness I used to date Clark; they met at the yoga studio and dated for a few years. She is significantly younger than Clark and describes him as extremely kind, gentle and thoughtful. When asked she says he did not choke her or express an interest in choking. Mr. Tucker asks about the Sunday night stoner parties and she says that he did not have those while they were together. She only saw him use marijuana in front of her twice, but he did tell her about his trip to use ayahuasca to deal with his son's death. He told her it made him feel sick.
This episode likely brought out a lot of emotions and know that everyone in the courtroom was feeling one way or the other about all of these women being forced to testify and subjected to cross examination. Engaging in these sexual acts requires a discussion in advance and consent is not equal a person's silence during the act or their failure to verbalize No. In the next episode, the state will call their final witness and they will rest their case. Join Patreon at patreon.com/bloodtown for early access and bonus content, or leave a rating or review on Apple podcasts, good pods or Spotify. You can visit our website bloodtownpodcast.com or follow us on Facebook or Instagram @bloodtownpodcast and on Twitter @bloodtownpod