Man Gets Life In Prison For Spitting
On 6/30/2003, John C. Marquez, age 36, of Sapulpa, Oklahoma was sentenced to life in prison by Creek County Associate District Judge April Sellers White. Marquez received the life sentence as the result of a Creek County jury's verdict and sentencing recommendation following his conviction for "spitting on a government employee", Sapulpa Police Officer Charles Gadd. Under Oklahoma Statutes the punishment range for the offense is from 2 years to life.
The "spitting" attack occurred in July of 2002 when Officer Gadd was dispatched to a local trailer park in response to a domestic disturbance complaint. In the process of arresting Marquez, Officer Gadd was bitten and spit upon. Medical testing conducted over the course of nine months following the incident revealed that neither man had any communicable disease.
Marquez was charged on 8/12/02 with one count each of assault and battery upon a police officer, prisoner placing body fluid on a government employee and domestic abuse. The court docket of this case may be found on-line at STATE OF OKLAHOMA vs. MARQUEZ, JOHN CARL
During the sentencing phase of the trial on 5/14/03, Assistant District Attorney Laura Farris asked the jury for a 25-year sentence while the defense attorney asked for a four-year term. The jury deliberated for fifteen minutes and returned the life sentence. At his formal sentencing on 6/30/03, Marquez's attorney asked the judge for a ten year sentence in view of Marquez's history of drug and alcohol abuse and his limited education. Marquez's attorney also told that the judge that Marquez was drunk at the time of the offenses and while he could not recall what happened he was remorseful. The judge rejected the defense arguments and imposed the life sentence and an additional sentence of one year on charges of resisting arrest and domestic abuse.
Marquez has a criminal history dating back to when he was eighteen years old, including convictions for first degree rape, burglary and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Marquez's record with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is Available Here .