MISSOULA – A Missoula man who won a 14-year fight earlier this year to erase a rape conviction has been arrested in South Dakota, three months after being accused of “absconding” from probation on an unrelated charge.
Cody Marble, 33, was arrested Wednesday night in Spearfish, S.D., and will be extradited to Missoula to face charges that he violated probation stemming from a 2013 drug conviction.
His father, Jerry Marble, told MTN News Thursday that his son had been driving back to Missoula from the Midwest, to turn himself in to face the probation-violation charge.
Authorities in Spearfish arrested him without incident after they ran his license plate and saw that he had a warrant for his arrest, his father said.
Jerry Marble said he hopes his son won’t get sent back to prison – from which he was released last year, after prosecutors filed to dismiss the 2002 rape conviction. A judge agreed to dismiss the conviction earlier this year.
“I hope that somebody in this process is reasonable,” he told MTN News.
Jerry Marble said his son never should have been on probation in the first place, after spending years in prison or on parole for a crime he never committed.
Cody Marble’s probation, scheduled to end next year, is for a suspended sentence he received for drug possession while on parole from his 15-year rape sentence.
State corrections officials told MTN earlier this month that they had to continue to supervise Marble for the drug charge, because a judge never dismissed it.
A Missoula prosecutor last month filed to revoke Marble’s suspended sentence on the 2013 drug charge, after Marble was involved in an altercation this May in Conrad and then refused to report to jail on the direction of his probation officer.
Cody Marble left the state and had been traveling in the Midwest, his father said.
Marble was convicted in November 2002 for raping a fellow inmate at the Missoula County Juvenile Detention Center and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Marble, just 17 when he was charged, denied that the rape occurred and said he was set up by other detention-center inmates, who lied at his trial.
Marble went through several attorneys and attempts to overturn his conviction until his case was taken up by the Montana Innocence Project and Missoula lawyer Colin Stephens a half-dozen years ago.
A 2015 Montana Supreme Court decision sent Marble’s case back to Missoula County and ordered a new look at the case. The county’s new head prosecutor, Kirsten Pabst, re-examined the evidence and decided in April 2016 to ask that the charge be dismissed and Marble’s conviction dissolved.
Jerry Marble said his son was told initially that he’d be discharged from any probation requirements related to the 2013 drug charge, because of all the time he’d already spent in prison.
But corrections officials later said because the suspended drug sentence was “consecutive,” meaning it was to follow time for the rape sentence, was still in effect, and that Cody would have to comply with probation requirements until May 2018, Jerry Marble said.