- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) - A Lawton man accused of suffocating his wife and burying her body in his backyard has been ordered to stand trial on first-degree murder charges.

Comanche County Special District Court Judge Ken Harris ruled Wednesday that there’s sufficient evidence for David Baird, 62, to be bound over for trial in the death of his wife, Claudine Marroquin, 36.

Lawton Police Department Detective Ken Parsons testified that authorities were called to Baird’s home last September on reports of a foul odor. Parsons said investigators searched Baird’s home using the chemical luminol, which indicates the presence of blood.

“We checked everything in the living room, almost all of it with luminol,” Parsons testified. “The chairs had a positive result. The sofa had a positive result. The carpet had a positive result. The walls had a positive result.”

Detectives then moved to the backyard of the home, where Marroquin’s body was found buried in a shallow grave. Parsons said the body was found inside a black trash bag, with a swimming pool liner and old tires piled on top. An autopsy report released Wednesday to The Lawton Constitution (https://bit.ly/1ksjIPU ) showed Marroquin died from asphyxiation, likely from two plastic bags placed over her head.

The medical examiner’s report said Marroquin died a “violent death.” The report noted that Marroquin’s body did not show any evidence of external injury, but said some injuries could have been masked because of decomposition.

Baird’s attorney, Ronald Williams, argued there wasn’t enough direct evidence linking his client to Marroquin’s death. Prosecutors responded that blood was found inside Baird’s home, but Williams argued “two pieces of DNA” weren’t enough.

Baird was bound over for trial on charges of first-degree murder, desecration of a corpse, unlawful removal of a body and forgery of a certificate of title in the death. The last charge was filed because prosecutors allege Baird sold Marroquin’s pickup after her death and forged her name on the bill of sale. An arraignment is set for June 10.

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Information from: The Lawton Constitution, https://www.swoknews.com


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