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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Man found not guilty in fatal attack at Tampa church

TAMPA — Three therapists agreed Michael Marston was insane when he killed a man in the parking lot of Christ the King church, and so a judge Wednesday found Marston not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2012 slaying.

Marston, 35, told Circuit Judge Samantha Ward he understood the finding by the doctors and did not object to the conclusion that he was insane. Assistant State Attorney Ronald Gale said the state did not disagree with the doctors’ reports, which were filed under seal with the court by public defender Jennifer Spradley.

Marston’s family, who were in court for the proceedings, declined to talk to reporters.

Marston, of Tampa, had been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Rolando Rivera-Arroyo, 73.

Police said Marston attacked Rivera-Arroyo after a disagreement in the parking lot at the church, 821 S. Dale Mabry Highway. Marston stabbed Rivera-Arroyo and then ran him over with his white Toyota Corolla. Marston left Rivera-Arroyo under the car and walked away from the scene, police said.

The crime scene was visible to children and parents arriving at the church for an open house for the church’s school that day.

Before attacking Rivera-Arroyo, Marston stole items from a storage area and damaged property at his ex-wife’s Tampa apartment, police said. The items were located in the church parking lot where the homicide occurred, police said.

A police patrol officer noticed the car under an overhang at the front of the church about 5:45 a.m. The officer stopped to investigate. A church custodian came out of the building and noticed the body under the car.

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