Hemet man to stand trial for allegedly killing girlfriend
Last week after a preliminary hearing at the Banning Justice Center, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Randall White found there was sufficient evidence to try Hemet resident Vincent James Marples, 34, for first-degree murder in the death of his 32-year-old girlfriend, Cassandra Taylor. Marples also faces a special circumstance allegation of inflicting torture during the commission of a murder.
In late January, Marples was arrested on suspicion of killing Taylor, whose remains were found in his Ford Explorer.
Marples has a post-preliminary hearing arraignment scheduled for Oct. 10 and is being held without bail at the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.
According to Hemet police Lt. Eddie Pust, officers were alerted on the afternoon of Jan. 24 that Marples made a phone call to a relative, stating that Taylor was dead and that he was with her, but he did not disclose their location.
“The caller was able to provide a vehicle description and a general area that Marples frequents,” said Pust.
A Riverside County sheriff’s helicopter crew helped patrol officers locate the SUV, according to Pust. About two hours after the search began, the helicopter spotted the Explorer on a hillside southeast of the intersection of Gibbel Road and State Street. Officers took Marples into custody without incident and found Taylor’s body in the back of the SUV. Her cause of death has not been disclosed.
“Further investigation revealed that an altercation occurred between the two subjects, who were at the location sometime within the past 24 hours,” said Pust in January. “The altercation resulted in the death of Taylor.”
According to court records, Marples has prior misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence, manufacturing an illegal firearm, and driving under the influence. He has several pending felony cases in Riverside County Superior Court for alleged witness intimidation and making terrorist threats.
Motorcyclist killed in traffic collision
Hemet Police officers responded to a traffic collision on Warren Road between Esplanade Avenue and Cottonwood Avenue in the city of Hemet on Sept. 27 at about 12:40 p.m. Officers arrived and learned a 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle had gone down and the rider was seriously injured.
The investigation determined that the motorcycle rider, 48-year-old Hemet resident Jose Sanchez Jr., was traveling north on Warren Road in the northbound lane, north of Esplanade Avenue. Sanchez was traveling behind two other vehicles when one of those vehicles slowed to make a turn into nearby driveway. Evidence shows Sanchez attempted to pass the two vehicles on the left by entering the oncoming, southbound lane of traffic.
According to witnesses, Sanchez then lost control of his motorcycle and began to skid, traveling north and west toward the roadway edge. Sanchez rode off the west roadway edge of Warren Road where his motorcycle fell over, impacting the dirt shoulder. Sanchez did not collide with any other vehicles. Sanchez was transported to a local hospital, where he died, according to HPD. The drivers of both vehicles Sanchez was passing remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.
Warren Road between Esplanade and Cottonwood avenues was closed for about two hours while the collision investigation was conducted.
Thrown rocks damage Hemet fire truck
On Sept. 29 at about 10:30 a.m., a Hemet Fire Department engineer notified Hemet Public Safety Dispatch that a person threw rocks at his fire truck at the intersection of Buena Vista Street and Latham Avenue.
The HFD engineer provided a description of the alleged rock thrower and his direction of travel to police units. A person matching that description, Jermaine Middleton, 38, who has a history of throwing rocks at passing vehicles in Hemet, was stopped a short time later by Hemet Police Officers in the 100 block of N. Carmalita Street.
Fire personnel positively identified Middleton as the suspect who threw rocks at the fire truck. Middleton was arrested without incident and transported to the Hemet Police Department and booked into the city’s jail. He was later transported to Riverside County Jail where his bail was set at $10,000 on charges of vandalism. The fire truck sustained more than $1,500 worth of damage, according to officials.