A 50-year-old former Montana sheriff's deputy shot and killed himself in a restroom at North Arundel Hospital yesterday, hours before he was to be sentenced for sexually abusing his two daughters, police reported.
Edward R. Marriott III, who had been arrested in Big Fork, Mont., shot himself in the heart about 8:50 a.m., Anne Arundel County police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, a restroom off the main lobby.
Marriott, who had been staying with relatives in the 1300 block of Corey Drive, Glen Burnie, was to be sentenced by Circuit Judge Raymond G. Thieme, Jr., on two counts of committing unnatural and perverted sex acts. The charges stem from incidents with his daughters in his parents' Glen Burnie home in 1980 and in 1981.
Marriott's brother, Norman S. Marriott Jr., 52, of Mount Pleasant Mills, Pa., was sentenced Monday to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a daughter and his ex-wife's younger sister in the same house.
Edward Marriott was arrested after his daughters told authorities of a string of abuses, that began when the girls were 6 or 8 years old and continued until they reached adulthood, said Cynthia Ferris, the prosecutor.
The victims, who have married and moved out of state, reported the abuse about a year ago after learning their father had remarried and was seeking custody of his new wife's young child, she said.
Both men entered Alford pleas to the charges in April, refusing to admit guilt, but conceding that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict them.
Edward Marriott was free on $25,000 bond awaiting sentencing. Yesterday, he left a suicide note with the manager of a gas station near the hospital about 7 a.m., then disappeared for about two hours until he walked into the hospital and shot himself once with a .38-caliber handgun he had taken that morning from his stepfather's house, Detective John Brown said.
In the note, Marriott said his suicide should pay for his brother's crimes and asked that Norman Marriott be freed.
Allen N. Horvitz, one of the attorneys who represented both Marriotts, said that Edward Marriott had acknowledged his guilt but felt "as if his brother had gotten dragged in."
Detective Brown said Edward Marriott asked the manager of the Hospital Drive Sunoco station to call his stepfather, Fred Ruth, of Glen Burnie, to pick up the note.
"The thing that struck me was that the guy couldn't talk," said Michael Grim, the manager. "He wrote a note and asked me to make the call for him."
Mr. Grim said Marriott left after he placed the call.
Police said yesterday that they don't know why Marriott declined to talk to Mr. Grim because he had been talking freely with his attorneys the night before and had no physical problems that would have left him without a voice.
Mr. Ruth arrived shortly after he received the call. The family had been searching for Marriott since they awoke at 6 a.m. and discovered that he was not there, Detective Brown said.
Marriott's wife, Tamara Marriott, said, "I know for a fact that Ed wouldn't want anything in the paper that would jeopardize his brother's case."
Mr. Horvitz said he plans to ask that Norman Marriott's sentence be modified so he can serve it closer to home in Pennsylvania and continue to work as a forklift operator in a nearby warehouse.
Mr. Horvitz said a psychologist's report that he would have submitted at sentencing yesterday would have warned that Marriott was suicidal.
James Dupont, sheriff in Flathead County, Mont., where Marriott worked for 15 years, said Marriott came close to committing suicide once eight years ago in the midst of personal problems and again last year when fellow deputies arrested him on the sex-abuse charges at his house.