Conflicting Stories Doomed Defendant, Prosecutors Say
CLAREMORE -- Mark Marzano put his arm around his weeping mother-in- law's shoulder and hugged her as Karl Lee Myers was found guilty Monday in the murder of Cindy Michelle Marzano.
A Rogers County jury of six men and six women took less than three hours to find Myers guilty in the first-degree murder of Mrs. Marzano, 29.
The Broken Arrow mother of three children had been raped and asphyxiated.
Testimony in the punishment phase of the trial will begin Tuesday morning. The jury has the option of recommending Myers get the death penalty, life in prison without parole or life in prison.
After nearly four hours of closing arguments, the jury took up the issue at 1:30 p.m., reaching a decision by 4 p.m.
Myers, the last person to see Cindy Marzano alive, met her after she got off work March 14, 1996. The two went to Denny's restaurant in Broken Arrow for coffee from around 9:15 p.m. to 10 p.m.
What appeared to be most damning for Myers was Myers' own words, said Gene Haynes, Rogers County district attorney, and his assistant, Ray Hasselman.
They pointed at the inconsistencies in Myers' statements to authorities March 16, two days after Marzano disappeared after clocking out of the deli at Broken Arrow's Homeland on March 14.
Marzano's clothed body, the bra and shirt pulled above her chest, was found floating at 33 Landing on the McClellan-Kerr Navigational Channel, about seven miles east of Catoosa off U.S. 412.
The landing is only a few miles away from Myers' rural Inola home, prosecutors pointed out.
When first questioned by authorities, Myers denied having sex with Marzano, saying he "never even touched her or hugged her." He later told a former sheriff at the mention of Marzano's name that he had "sex with that girl" on numerous occasions.
That was no mistake, Hasselman said. He was trying to cover his bases because he feared the DNA testing would show exactly what it did, that Myers' blood matched the sperm fragments found in Marzano.
It was no mistake that he went to a Broken Arrow Git-N-Go, had coffee, washed his truck, bought a stuffed toy for his little niece and told the store attendant he had been with his niece all evening, Hasselman said.
He went there specifically for an alibi, Hasselman said. Myers knew there was a surveillance camera in the store and he is the one who suggested to authorities to look at the video.
Myers also told authorities he had heard Marzano was dead prior to her death being made public.
Prosecutors pounded away at the theory that Marzano's death was a continuation of Myers' motive and intent in life to prey on women.
Two women, one 12-years-old and another 13-years-old when sexually assaulted by Myers 20 years ago and about 12 years ago, respectively, told the jury how he took them to an isolated area and sexually assaulted them.
Defense attorneys Joe Robertson and Bill Higgins pointed at Marzano's husband, Mark Marzano, as the more likely killer.
They pointed out that Mark Marzano, who told authorities he spent most of the night waiting outside Denny's where he found his wife's car, has no alibi from 9:30 p.m. that night until about 9:30 the next morning.
Robertson stressed that the Marzanos' marriage was in trouble with both the Marzanos talking of divorce and seeing other people.