Former Glenwood man pleads guilty to manslaughter
Post Independent Staff
Eric Wright, a man who once lived in Glenwood Springs under the false moniker of Steven Marcum, accepted a plea bargain to voluntary manslaughter in San Joaquin County, Calif., Superior Court on June 6.
Wright was sentenced to six years in California state prison, a San Joaquin County court employee said Wednesday.
Wright, 54, was arrested by California authorities in 2002 for the 1980 slaying of California resident Lester Marks. According to reports, Wright then faked his own death, changed his name to Steven Marcum and moved to Colorado.
He married a woman who now lives in Silt, 54-year-old Kathy Spiars, and the couple moved to Glenwood Springs in the 1980s.
“He looks like Charles Manson and Marlon Brando in his bad days,” Spiars said of her ex-husband. She recently returned from California, where she was involved in Wright’s legal proceedings.
According to Spiars, she found aspects of her husband’s behavior suspicious and began investigating her husband, eventually linking him with the long-cold murder case.
“It’s finally come to a close for me,” she said.
Police eventually found Wright in Mexico and extradited him to California on charges of first-degree murder. But some evidence was lost since the 1980 killing and one of the main investigators has since died.
“They lost the chains,” Spiars said of the chains that bound Marks when he was found by authorities. “Also, the victim’s clothes were gone.”
These factors compelled prosecutors to offer Wright a plea bargain that included pleading guilty to manslaughter rather than risk letting him off by going to trial.
“He’ll probably get two years, then he’ll get parole – which is kind of scary,” she said. “But it’s time to put it to bed for me, so I am.”
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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