Convicted murderer Robert Marshall, the Toms River insurance broker whose sensational case inspired a book and a T.V. movie, lost a bid to reduce his life sentence this week, according to a statement from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
Marshall applied to Superior Court Judge Wendel E. Daniels to reconsider his 2006 decision to sentence Marshall to life with 30 years parole ineligibility. Marshall cited his deteriorating health as a reason for applying.
In a written opinion, Daniels denied Marshall’s request to change his sentence, noting that the Court was aware of Marshall’s health at the time of the re-sentencing in 2006, and that Marshall’s present health condition does not rise to the level of severity he claimed warranted his release.
Judge Daniels also noted that the crime for which Marshall was convicted and sentenced - the murder of his wife - was taken into account in denying his bid for a reduced sentence.
Marshall had been sentenced to death in 1986 for the 1984 murder of his wife, Maria, at a rest stop on the Garden State Parkway. The case became the subject of the best selling book, Blind Faith (pictured).
In September 1984, Marshall, who was chairman of the Ocean County Chapter of the United Way fund, was with his wife, Maria, while they were traveling north on the Garden State Parkway from Harrah's in Atlantic City.
Marshall claimed that when he and his wife pulled over at the Oyster Creek picnic area in Lacey Township, he was then knocked unconscious. He later found his wife dead from two gunshot wounds.
Marshall was arrested in December 1984. Prosecutors argued that Marshall had hired two men to kill his wife so that he could collect on a $1.5 million insurance policy. He was later convicted of the murder and sentenced to death.
New Jersey no longer has the death penalty. In 2006, Marshall was resentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole in eight years.