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Archive for Sunday, February 8, 2004

Husband jailed in torture case

February 8, 2004

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— A 33-year-old Ottawa woman was held captive for 15 hours by her husband, who stabbed her in her genitals, bludgeoned her multiple times with a brick and intentionally vomited on her, says the woman who helped her escape.

A 34-year-old Ottawa resident, Darren Marconette, was arrested Tuesday evening and later charged with attempted second-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery and criminal threats.

Marconette is being held in the Franklin County Jail in lieu of $750,000 bond.

Possibly high on drugs, according to a police report, Marconette passed out after torturing his wife for 15 hours, at which time she fled. She ran about 100 yards to call her mother from neighbor Delorah Barker's trailer house.

The victim was almost unrecognizable, her lips so badly beaten they looked like raw hamburger, Barker said.

"She didn't even look human," Barker said, nearly crying. "I still can't get that picture out of my head."

Barker said the victim was so weak she could barely hold the telephone receiver to her ear.

"And all she said when she came in was, 'Call my mom and have her come get me,'" Barker said.

She said the victim was reluctant to call an ambulance because she was worried about paying the medical bills.

But Barker knew the money would come from somewhere. She grabbed the phone and called the police at 5:08 p.m. Several officers arrived four minutes later, according to the report.

Barker said that after describing the torture to the police, the woman was quickly lifeflighted to University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said she was unable to confirm or deny the patient had been admitted.

Ottawa Police Capt. Ron Puterbaugh said Marconette was not hostile during the arrest. Barker said Marconette passed out from drugs just after he slid into the police car. She said police were rummaging around his property until about 4 a.m. She said the couple had been married about 15 years.

The police, who are still investigating, suspect only Marconette.

It isn't the first time that Barker pointed the victim toward help. About a month ago, Barker said, she convinced the woman to file a petition for a protective order. Ten days after the victim wrote the letter, she wrote the judge to retract her request.

About six months ago, social services took the couple's three children from their custody, Barker said. The couple had set up a meeting with a social worker shortly after the woman filed her petition, which she asked the judge to dismiss because she thought it would prevent her from getting her children back, Barker said. The oldest child is a girl of about 10 years, and the younger two are boys of about 7 and 5.

She said she hadn't seen much of the couple since last month's incident.

That changed Monday.

Barker was headed down the steps of her front deck toward her car when Marconette yelled at her from his house down the road. He was holding something large and limp, but she couldn't discern the figure.

"I heard him hollering, 'Hey, look what I've got over here,'" Barker said. "He was so braggy, like someone who'd caught a 10-pound catfish."

She dismissed it, assuming he was drunk. She realized Tuesday night that he had been showing off his victim.

Cupping her hand over her mouth, she paused.

"I keep having flashbacks," Barker said, nearly crying. "How can one person do that to another person?"

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