- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Joseph Corey, the Galt man who gunned down a Sacramento County animal control officer, has died at San Quentin State Prison.

Charlotte Marcum Rush, though, wishes he would have suffered just as her son, Roy Marcum, did that fateful November day.

Marcum had gone to retrieve pets believed abandoned when Joseph Corey was evicted from his Galt home. But instead, Corey was laying in wait and used a high-powered rifle to fire through his closed front door where he fatally shot Marcum.

But Corey, 67, died of natural causes last month at San Quentin, where he was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder. He had been at the prison since Dec. 22, 2014.

Rush only learned of Corey’s death Friday when she was contacted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. She was so overcome with the news and the feelings it stirred up from the trial that she had to leave her job and go home.

“It brings back too many memories,” Rush said.

“Just hearing that he died, just makes me feel like he didn’t suffer long enough. Nothing will help with closure. Nothing ever will.”

Corey’s next of kin was notified of his June 13 death that day, according to Krissi Khokhobashvill.

She confirmed he died of natural causes, but health care privacy regulations prevent her from providing additional information. “Natural causes mean there was no need for a homicide or suicide investigation,” Khokhobashvill said.

It also means no autopsy was performed, and his remains were turned over to his family, she added.

Corey’s attorney, Jennifer Mouzis, was not surprised he died so soon after being incarcerated, as he was ill.

“This case was a very sad case all around,” she said Monday. “It’s very sad for Mr. Marcum’s family and the community. However, it was very sad for Mr. Corey because we could have helped him if someone would have seen this coming.

“I hope we take a new view on mental health so that this kind of thing can be prevented in the future.”

During the trial, Mouzis mounted a defense claiming Corey was a hoarder and that he was merely attempting to protect his belongings, including his eight dogs and two cats, when he shot Marcum. Throughout the trial, she said Corey lacked the mental capability to plan to kill Marcum.

Sacramento County jurors also heard testimony from psychologist Robin Zasio, known for her work on the TV show “Hoarders.”

Deputy District Attorney William Satchell, however, successfully showed that Corey returned to his locked house following the Nov. 27, 2012 eviction, snuck back inside, armed himself with a .45 Whelan hunting rifle and waited at the top of the stairs for Marcum and bank representatives to arrive the following day.

When the trio attempted to unlock the door to the residence on the 600 block of First Street, Corey fired the rifle through his front door hitting the representatives, who received superficial wounds from shrapnel.

But Marcum, 43, of Elk Grove, was shot in the chest and the bullet tore through his body. He was not wearing a bulletproof vest and was pronounced dead a short time later at nearby New Hope Church, where he was taken to receive first aid.

Just months before his murder, Rush said her son had asked his employer for a bulletproof vest.

In the last two and a half years, she has turned his murder into a cause, having successfully helped write and pass legislation that makes prior call information on people living at specific residences available to animal control officers before visits. She also worked to ensure every animal control officer in the state was outfitted with a bulletproof vest.

Rush is now working to pass legislation to provide regular training for animal control officers.

“Getting these bills passed means a lot to me,” Rush said Monday. “At least my son would not have died in vain, and his life would have meant something.

“I don’t want to have any more officers die, any more children to lose their parents.”

Marcum left behind a wife, Tina, and two adult children.?

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(c)2015 the Lodi News-Sentinel (Lodi, Calif.)

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