28 Oct 2010

Accused Polygamist’s Trial On Abuse Charges Begins

WSOC TV Charlotte, N.C. May 11, 2009

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. -- A Caldwell County judge decided Monday to split up the charges against an accused polygamist into two separate trials. Opening statements began Monday afternoon in the trial of Johnny Eric Marlowe, 33, of Dallas.

Marlowe is charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, two counts of inflicting bodily injury and felony child abuse, first-degree kidnapping, misdemeanor assault on a female, misdemeanor communicating threats and assault on a child under the age of 12. If convicted on all counts, he could spend between 120 days and 261 months behind bars, according to the Caldwell County News-Topic.

A judge determined Monday that Marlowe will face the child abuse and assault on a child charges separately. He will be tried this week on abuse charges related to accusations that he abused his wife and another woman who he treated as a second wife.

The women said he beat them and threatened to kill them.Marlowe will represent himself in court after he waived his right to legal counsel in September. He is wearing his jail uniform while defending himself.

When Eyewitness News asked if he’s ready for the trial, he replied, “Oh yeah.”

Marlowe admitted to Eyewitness News in November 2007 that he lived with his wife and another woman, who he considered a second wife. He had fathered 11 children under the age of 12 between the two women.Marlowe was charged with felony child abuse after authorities said they discovered he delivered and then circumcised two of his newborn sons with a utility knife while living in Kings Creek in Caldwell County.

The mothers also told investigators that Marlowe denied them prenatal care.Dallas police first began investigating Marlowe and his family after he was accused of threatening a neighbor with a gun in October 2007. A month later, he was charged with assault on a female and 11 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after police found he went to Myrtle Beach with one of the women he calls his wife and left all 11 children home alone.

At the time he admitted to Eyewitness News that he left the children alone, but said they could take care of themselves. He also said he couldn’t understand why he would be charged for refusing to send the children to public school or properly home school them, which led to four of his charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Marlowe served about 150 days in the Gaston County Jail for those charges.Marlowe has been in the Caldwell County Detention Center on $200,000 secured bond since his indictment on the more serious charges in July 2008.

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