Aristotle Marr Pleads Guilty

Aristotle Marr Pleads Guilty
SEATTLE - A former honor student who was sought in an international manhunt for months before he surrendered pleaded guilty Friday to six charges stemming from a bank robbery that ended in a fatal shootout.

Aristotle Napoleon Marr, 26, a former straight-A high school student and football star, entered his pleas before King County Superior Court Judge Donald D. Haley.

Marr, who had been scheduled to go to trial this month, faces 18 to 23 years in prison under state sentencing guidelines. His lawyer will seek the low end of the sentencing range, and prosecutors will seek the high end, attorneys said.

Sentencing has been scheduled for April 19. Had he been convicted at trial of all the counts he originally faced, Marr could have faced 46 years in prison.

During the hearing, Marr's voice was barely audible as he answered Haley's questions about whether he understood the charges and was aware he was giving up his rights.

"In our opinion, it's a plea, but it's not much of a bargain for Mr. Marr," Deputy Prosecutor Steve Fogg said. "Mr. Marr is not just taking responsibility for what he did, but for what his accomplice did."

Marr turned himself in on Feb. 7, 2001, to face robbery, kidnapping and assault charges in a bank holdup by two men at a Wells Fargo bank branch in the city's north end on June 22, 2000.

After the robbers' motorcycle failed to start, Marr's accomplice, Daniel del Fierro, wounded a Seattle police officer in a shootout before being killed.

The officer, Wesley Buxton, was shot in his right shoulder and left arm and returned to duty three months later. He said he would have preferred to see Marr get a longer sentence, but gave his OK when prosecutors asked him about the proposed plea agreement.

"What's Aristotle Marr's cause?" Buxton asked after the hearing. "It's his personal greed, and to me that's worse than terrorism."

Marr pleaded guilty to counts including robbery, assault and unlawful imprisonment.

Marr was accused of holding Ellen and Richard Germain hostage after he ran from the scene. Ellen Germain, 66, said she caught him trying to hot-wire their truck and was then held with her 69-year-old husband in their home until someone came to help Marr get away.

Marr's family maintains he is innocent, claiming that police planted DNA from his blood at the scene of the crime.

Asked why his younger brother pleaded guilty, Lorenzo Marr, 28, said, "What would you do? I'd have been scared out of my shoes."

Though he claims he has never asked his brother if he is guilty, Lorenzo Marr said: "I will never believe he did that. If I can see my brother face to face, maybe I'd ask him that, but I'm not going to ask him between the prison glass about personal matters."

Lorenzo Marr told KOMO 4 News his brother would never get a fair trial and had no choice but to plead guilty, considering he faced more than 40 years in prison if found guilty.

Lorenzo Marr was sentenced in January to 17 months in prison for first-degree possession of stolen property and intimidating a witness. He is appealing the conviction and is out on $40,000 bond. He insists the charges were filed by prosecutors to harass him.

According to a U.S. Marshal's Service report, Aristotle Marr rented an apartment in Montego Bay, Jamaica, under the name of Ramon Lowe from August to October 2000.

His mother paid his rent in cash and bought him groceries, and his family contacted him by cell phone 109 times, the report said.

Last September, Haley refused to release Marr on $500,000 bail for lack of proof of the source of the bond money. Marr, his mother and his uncle, Stanley Harris of Jamaica, said the cash was being offered by a Jamaican business operator, Noel "Mackie" McLean.