SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

December 12, 2013

Bus driver admits assaulting disabled man

(Continued)

Other students on the bus could hear the slap of Marrs’ hand hitting the young man.

Marrs was charged following an investigation. Prosecutors opted to pursue just one of the charges yesterday, the day the case was scheduled to go to trial.

Grimes, the prosecutor, suggested that a guilty finding and a suspended sentence would show the public that such incidents are taken seriously, and provide potential future employers with a way of judging whether Marrs is suitable for employment.

Grimes said the victim’s father, who was present in court, simply wanted Marrs to “acknowledge that what he did was wrong.”

Marrs’ attorney, Heidi Shore, tried to convince the judge to continue the case without a finding and then dismiss the charge, saying Marrs, who had taken the bus-driving job after being laid off as a union heavy equipment operator, wants to return to the union, and a conviction on his record could hinder that.

Shore also suggested that by admitting to what happened Marrs was sparing the disabled witnesses from the stress of testifying in a trial.

Marrs was fired from his job at LBK Transportation, though not because of the assault allegation — he had also made unauthorized stops for coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, leaving the disabled young adults alone on the bus, which he’d leave running, and designating one of them to be in charge, according to the police report.

The report also says Marrs made inappropriate, sexually charged comments to passengers and remarked about female body parts.

In 2010, Marrs was arrested and charged with indecent exposure, a charge that was continued without a finding, a disposition that generally involves an admission to sufficient evidence and a period of pretrial probation supervision, and later dismissed.

He also had two disorderly conduct convictions on his record from the 1980s.

Efforts to speak with an owner or manager at LBK Transportation were unsuccessful yesterday.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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