Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

New Orleans Sportscaster Charged in Wife's Death


Following his release on bail, Marinello quietly dropped off the radar screen for more than two months. Throughout the month of October, only two stories on him appeared in the local paper, the first of which was headlined "Marinello case goes to DA's office" on October 12. The second headline read, "Marinello says murder case won't be tried in the media" on October 24.

Gretna Courthouse
Gretna Courthouse

Outside the Gretna courthouse, in his first court appearance since his arrest, Marinello told his former colleagues in the New Orleans media that his public statement on October 23 was "a one-time deal. I'll have my day in court," the well-dressed former sportscaster said. "And I will have my statement before a judge and a jury of twelve people." Immediately afterward, he appeared before Magistrate Patricia Joyce in a status hearing that allowed both the magistrate and the defendant to learn where the case stood at that point. No indictment had yet been handed down, and the next status hearing was set for December 7.

At the hearing, Foret told Joyce that Marinello was "not a flight risk," but conceded to reporters afterward that a grand jury indictment could be handed down at a later date. The story again disappeared from the news until more than a month later, when the shocking announcement appeared that Foret was withdrawing from the case.

On November 29, Foret issued a simple, one-sentence statement to the media, saying, "I have withdrawn from the case." No reason was given, nor was a replacement counsel for Marinello named at that time.

Paul Connick
Paul Connick

In the meantime, however, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office had presented its findings to Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick, Jr., and the case went to a grand jury in early December. On the 7th, the day of his second status hearing, Marinello was indicted by the grand jury on second degree murder charges.

The indictment was read before 24th Judicial District Court Judge Joan Benge, who tripled the bond on Marinello. On learning of the indictment, Marinello told Benge, "I'm innocent" and protested, "There's no way in the world I can make that," referring to the $750,000 bond.

The high bond had been recommended to Benge by assistant district attorneys David Wolff and Roger Jordan, who were assigned to prosecute the case. They considered Marinello to be a flight risk, since he had friends in Jackson and family members in New Jersey.

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