Victim's husband testifies in Rayshawn Johnson re-sentencing

Rayshawn Johnson
Rayshawn Johnson

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Testimony began Thursday in the re-sentencing of Rayshawn Johnson.

Before the questions even began, Shanon Marks' husband was holding back tears as he prepared to recall the day he lost his college sweetheart.

"Did you have any conversation with her[that morning]?" the prosecuting attorney asked.

"Briefly, just to wake her and said goodbye," Norman Marks said.

The next time Norman saw his wife he had just gotten home from work and says he found her lying on the bathroom floor.

"She was faced-down and one arm was draped up against her up against the edge of the tub," Norman recounted.

The prosecution later played back the call Norman then made to 911.

"[I was] screaming and calling her name and trying to get her to wake up," Norman recalled.

He says he went on to attempt to revive Shanon with CPR, but it was too late.

"Yes," Norman said in response to a question from the prosecution. "She was cold and hard to touch."

Next, two police officers and an examiner from the crime lab took the stand.

"The contents of Shanon's purse had been all about the bed along with the purse," Cincinnati Police officer Robert Randolph said.

"Was there any money found in that purse?" the prosecution asked.

"No," Randolph said. "No money, no paper currency at all."

The prosecution then showed pictures of the Marks' house as well as a red building next door where the defendant lived. Prosecutors also played Johnson's reaction to the crime which was captured during TV interviews.

"You can't trust nobody around here these days it's just crazy," Johnson said in one of the clips.

"I wish I could have been there a little earlier," he told reporters in another.

Officers testifying, however, said his stories did not match up with other statements.

"There were discrepancies and there was one major discrepancy, yes," one officer stated.

"What was that?" the prosecution asked.

"The major discrepancy was the time," responded the officer.

Throughout the officer testimony, the questions focused on one major piece of evidence: a shoe print in the Marks' home that eventually connected Johnson to the crime.

Johnson murdered his neighbor, Shanon Marks, in 1997. He was originally given the death penalty, but an appeals court ordered a new sentencing, saying Johnson's lawyers didn't fully investigate his abusive childhood.

Marks' husband was the first to testify on Thursday. He was the one who found his wife's body, which Johnson had beaten with a baseball bat.

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