Parole hearing looms in 'Blind Faith' murder case

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — A deadline is approaching in the parole bid of one of New Jersey's most notorious inmates.

The Asbury Park Press (http://on.app.com/1lBtYX7) reports the public will have until this Wednesday to submit written comments to the state Parole Board on Robert O. Marshall's attempt to win his freedom.

The former Toms River businessman is eligible for parole this December after spending nearly three decades in prison after being convicted of arranging the murder of his wife in 1984. The case was turned into the book "Blind Faith," and a television movie.

Maria Marshall was found shot to death in a picnic area along the Garden State Parkway as the couple returned from a night in Atlantic City. Her husband described the incident as a robbery. Prosecutors contended Marshall had his wife murdered so he could collect a $1.5 million life insurance policy.

Robert Marshall was convicted in 1986 and was on death row until 2004 when his death sentence was overturned. The state abolished the death penalty three years later. Marshall's attempt to have his sentence reduced due to health problems was denied by a judge in 2012.

Last month, prosecutors announced that a man found not guilty of pulling the trigger had confessed that he was indeed the hit man. Larry Thompson, who is incarcerated in Louisiana on other crimes, cannot be retried under double jeopardy rules. Two other men involved in the Marshall case also received jail terms and have since been released.

The Ocean County prosecutor's office is opposing Marshall's bid for parole.

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Information from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, http://www.app.com