Fear common in friends of Cape Coral father’s accused killer, son

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Attorneys may try to use an insanity defense for the son accused of brutally killing his own father, but Matthew Marshall has a history of violence that created fear among those closest to him.

Cape Coral police they found some of his father’s body parts in the woods behind their shared apartment and others stuffed into a suitcase floating in a canal.

Matthew Marshall threatened to kill his father, James “Rick” Marshall, 58, of Cape Coral, as early as December 2015 when he was sent to Salus Care for putting his father in a chokehold. Matthew Marshall told an officer that he was not concerned about his trip to the mental health care facility because “he would tell the staff what they wanted to hear and knew what to say to the doctor in order to get released,” according to reports.

Months before police said Matthew Marshall killed his father, James Marshall confided in a friend, creating a safe word for potential situations when he may feel endangered, records show. His son threatened him if he did not drive him to kill people, arrest records show.

He was previously arrested for choking a friend and gouging at his eyes in his home state of Minnesota in 2007. The victim told police he believed Matthew Marshall “would have choked him to unconsciousness if [a witness] had not been present and called for help,” arrest records show.

Local defense attorney Scott Moorey said Matthew Marshall’s attorney would need to prove that Marshall did not know right from wrong.

“There’s been a history of him being in hospitals, diagnosed with schizophrenia. The act in and of itself seems very crazy. It’s likely that defense will be used,” Moorey said.

But because Matthew Marshall is accused of hiding his father’s dismembered body, the insanity defense could weaken, Moorey said.

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