North Fork couple suspected of murder

awileman@sierrastar.comSeptember 10, 2013 

Marc McMurrain, 35, of North Fork, has been arrested on suspicion of murder, and his wife, Jennifer, 32, has been arrested for suspicion of accessory to murder in the death of the husband's brother, Christopher Garrity, 28.

The Madera County Sheriff's Office announced the identity of Garrity, who's remains were found last week near the home he shared with his brother and sister-in-law on Willow Creek Drive in North Fork.

Sheriff detectives arrested Marc McMurrain on Thursday Sept. 5, the day before his brother's remains were discovered Sept. 6. After the discovery of the body detectives arrested Jennifer McMurrain on suspicion of accessory to murder.

Authorities have not released any information on what led them to the initial arrest, or the method or motive for the killing. Both suspects are being held at the Madera County Department of Corrections on $1 million bail.

Marc and Jennifer McMurrain have previously been arrested in Madera County.

Marc was arrested in 2000 for burglary and in 2002 for possession of methamphetamines.

The couple was held responsible for three counts of felony child abuse in 2009 and Marc was arrested in 2011 on three counts of child abuse, for which he spent two months in county jail.

Marc McMurrain was again arrested in May of 2012 after leaving his 8 1/2-month-old son unattended in a vehicle during a picnic at Bass Lake. Deputies said the baby boy crawled out of a broken window and landed head first on the ground. The boy was flown to a hospital for treatment and later released to Child Protective Services.

That same day, Marc McMurrain was charged with child endangerment and misdemeanor battery charges following a confrontation with a Fresno news crew covering the story at Bass Lake.

The couple's neighbor Tracy Sadler, said in an interview with Fresno's KGPE channel 47 she felt there were mixed feeling between the brothers.

"Conversations Marc would have with my husband, and also his mother, would give her concerns about her two sons not getting along," Sadler said. "I do remember our dogs one night around that time really going crazy and my husband finally getting up and checking outside and he noticed some lights were on."

The McMurrain's four children were taken by Child Protective Services and there is no word on where the children will stay during the investigation.

"It's just a very sad situation," Sadler said. "I just hope they can be reunited with their grandparents and have some kind of stability."

The case remains under investigation.

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