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Homeless man unfit for trial: DA

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Robert Marshall, who is bipolar and a drug addict, was ordered to a psychiatric center April 6 after a judge at Queens Supreme Court in Kew Gardens decided he was unfit to be tried for the murder of Antoinette Russo. Police found Russo's battered body stuffed under a mattress in her Cornish Avenue house Aug. 6. On Aug. 10, the day Russo was buried, Marshall, 25, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, burglary and robbery.Russo returned home late that afternoon to find Marshall inside rifling through her belongings, police said According to the criminal compliant, a surprised Marshall then demanded money from the grandmother before beating her virtually unconscious."The defendant 'man-handled' the victim, which caused a bruise to the victim's head, then put the victim on the ground, tied the victim's hands and feet with cord, then placed a mattress on top of her and left the victim under the mattress," the complaint said.While Russo lay bound and dying, Marshall ate a sandwich and took a shower, authorities said. He allegedly left with $20.Russo, whose friends and neighbors have described as a devout churchgoer with a habit of shopping for even older residents, died the next morning at Elmhurst Hospital Medical Center from blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso.She was buried at St. Bartholomew's Church in Corona to a throng of mourners.Police say Marshall was previously arrested once in Puerto Rico and several times in Florida on charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping, sexual assault and drug possession.Messages left with Marshall's attorney, John Wallenstein, went unreturned.Reach reporter Zach Patberg by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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