Last time we heard about accused murderer Marissa Shephard, she had been sentenced to four months for spitting in a jail guard’s face. As of today, Shephard, 22, is facing trial for second-degree murder of 18-year-old Baylee Wylie and for arson. She is known for evading police for ten weeks during a Canada-wide manhunt in 2016.
Wylie was found tied up to a chair, beaten, and stabbed over 200 times in a burned-out triplex basement in Moncton, New Brunswick in December 2015. Shephard appeared in court Monday and pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Shephard was arrested outside a motel in the city on March 1, 2016. Her own father had suggested while she was on the run that she might be dead. Amidst heavy media attention while she was on the run, police released a YouTube video containing photos of Shephard, saying that she was “capable of changing her looks and could be just about anywhere.”
Also arrested in Wylie’s murder before Shephard were Devin Morningstar, 21, and Tyler Noel, 20. Morningstar was convicted of first-degree murder and arson; he’s serving a life sentence. Noel was convicted of second-degree murder and arson after pleading guilty and is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 16 years.
Morningstar, who was arrested soon after Wylie’s body was found, gave police details about what he said led up to the murder during an interrogation. He told RCMP what began as an argument over who slept with who escalated to Wylie threatening to call the cops.
Morningstar said they’d all been smoking crack that night and that some of them, including himself, were dealers. Noel was "steaming mad" and "trying so hard to be this big gangster,” Morningstar told the RCMP. According to Morningstar, Noel said Wylie was "trying to start shit.”
The trials for Noel and Morningstar have already revealed some brutal details involving Shephard.
Morningstar said him and Shephard planned to frame Wylie for drug possession. Allegedly, this included Shephard hitting Wylie over the head with a glass bong, Noel beating him, and covering his face with plastic wrap.
Morningstar said he heard Noel say "this is what happens to rats.”
Morningstar described how they briefly freed Wylie, until Noel allegedly told him "this kid can't leave this house." He said Shephard, Noel, and himself then stabbed Wylie. He said it took an hour and a half for Wylie to die; then, he said, he poured bleach on the body. He claimed Noel and Shephard then set a fire.
Morningstar is on a potential witnesses list in the case.
According to CTV News, 1,200 people were initially summoned for jury selection in Shephard’s trial. Fourteen jurors are set to be selected.
The judge estimates the trial will end between May 18 and June 8.