Father of slain ASU student urges letters be written ahead of killer’s sentencing
PHOENIX (CBS5) –Zachary Marco was an ASU honors student with a bright future – one that ended suddenly when he was robbed and murdered off campus on Oct. 17, 2010.
The man who shot him to death will be sentenced on Nov. 7.
This past Monday, two days before the two-year anniversary of Zachary Marco’s murder, Louis Harper pleaded guilty to armed robbery and first-degree murder.
“He’s going to do some percentage of 15 years on the armed robbery and then when that is done, he starts the 25 years to life (for murder),” said Daniel Marco, Zachary Marco’s father.
In about 35 years, Harper will likely appear before a clemency or parole board asking to be released from prison.
On the Remembering Zachary Marco Facebook page, his father is asking family, friends and anyone who knew his son to write letters to the judge – which will then be part of the court record – in an attempt to keep Harper off the streets forever.
“When people sit down and write a topic like this, they write it from their heart and it is emotionally tough to sit and read someone who barely knew my son but who has followed the story and has been so affected by it,” said Daniel Marco.
When the time comes, he hopes the various boards will hear his voice and the voices of Zachary Marco’s other loved ones as they review Harper’s case.
“They’ll be read,” said Daniel Marco. The board will read this stuff. And, the more information they have, the better decision they can make 35 years from now.”
Daniel Marco, a former criminal defense attorney, advises all families of victims to follow this process and write letters prior to sentencing and years in advance of parole board hearings.
If you’d like to write a letter in support of Zachary Marco, and the effort to keep his killer behind bars, it must be received by Oct. 30.
Letters can be addressed “To whom this may concern,” or Judge O’Conner.
Mail them to Nicole Wendorf, Advocate – Victims Services Division, 301 West Jefferson, Fourth Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003.