DA names new chief investigator

Purple Heart award recipient John Markle, a Madera County native with more than 25 years of experience in California law enforcement, began his service as the district attorney’s chief investigator July 1.

Overseeing 10 of the office’s investigators, Markle’s primary duties are to assist the county sheriff’s department, and Madera and Chowchilla police in hunting down details for each case handed over to prosecutors, so they can ensure justice and safety for the public in court.

“This is a position I’ve worked my career towards,” Markle said. “I look forward to coming back and serving Madera County, its citizens, its communities, and helping the voice of victims be heard.”

District Attorney David Linn said Markle was an excellent candidate, and he was excited to see a talented member of law enforcement join his staff.

“He has an outstanding background,” Linn said. “He has expertise in areas I’m very concerned about, such as elder abuse ... which I believe is a serious issue facing every community in Madera County, particularly in the mountains … He’s going to do a lot for the people of Madera County.”

Markle, born and raised in the Madera County mountain area, began his career as a correctional officer for the local department of corrections in 1988. He joined the Madera Police Department as a reserve officer one year later.

On Oct. 11, 1992, that reserve officer job led to danger when Markle was shot by two men robbing a Madera bar.

“If I wasn’t wearing my (bulletproof) vest, I may have been done for,” Markle said.

One of the gunmen was imprisoned for life while the other was killed by officers during the incident. For his service amid the robbery, Markle earned a law-enforcement version of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, before he joined the Madera police as a full officer in 1995.

While there, Markle gained the ranks of corporal and sergeant before he left for an officer’s job with the Fresno Police Department in 2004. About a year later, Markle then became a special agent with the California Department of Justice, where he specialized in elder abuse, major crimes, and additional duties such as a defensive tactics and firearms instructor.

In late 2011, Markle moved to the Chowchilla Police Department as a sergeant, while also instructing students in criminal justice and business at a Clovis Institute of Technology office. Three years later, in February last year, he rejoined the DOJ, this time in Burbank, as a medical fraud and elder abuse investigator before he applied for the chief investigator position.

He joins the district attorney’s office with 14 years served in the Navy reserves, five awards for saving lives in duty, and numerous other awards along with involvement in local service clubs such as the Madera Elk’s Lodge, American Legion Post 11, and as a board member for the Madera Community Hospital.