2x killer pleads guilty in girlfriend's murder

Posted at 1:56 PM, Oct 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-01 13:56:04-04

A convicted killer who was the subject of a 5 on Your Side investigation after he was released from prison by the Ohio Parole Board has pleaded guilty to a second murder. 

Marlon Ricks pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated murder for the 2012 death of his 25-year-old girlfriend, Danielle Coleman, who was found dead in March of that year with 14 stab wounds.

Ricks killed his girlfriend while on parole for a previous murder conviction. In 1990, he pleaded guilty to murder, kidnapping and felonious assault, and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the death of his stepfather.

But records show theOhio Parole Board voted to release Ricks despite objections of prosecutors who argued that there was "a substantial reason to believe that Rick's release into society would create undue risk to public safety."

In a letter to parole officials, prosecutors said Ricks' release would "pose a clear danger."

Still, Ricks was released in April 2011 and parole records obtained reveal the board ruled that circumstances surrounding Ricks murder, kidnapping and aggravated assault conviction was "very unlikely to re-occur."

Less than a year later, Ricks killed his girlfriend, wrapped her body in trash bags and left her outside his home. 

Ricks chose to represent himself in that trial. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, that sentence was overturned by an appeals court in September of 2014. The court found that the trial court failed to ensure that he voluntarily waived his right to counsel, denied his due process rights and erred in refusing Ricks a continuance.

He was granted a new trial and pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated murder, tampering with evidence, theft of a motor vehicle and escape. With his plea, the court agreed to accept a joint recommended sentence. In total, he will serve 45 years to life in prison.


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