[Saturday Night Fire]

Stephen Colelli

[Newspaper source appears below]

It's Saturday night. Only 10:30, the guys are six beers deep, only gonna get deeper. Just like every other weekend in the spring of 2008. Beer spills everywhere, forming a small puddle on the hardwood floor beneath a toppled pitcher. No one notices, no one stops to mop the mess.

People flutter in and out of the kitchen. Someone with a midnight mac-n-cheese craving turns on the stove. Click click click, but the gas doesn't light. The sweet, sticky smell permeates the room. Someone yells, commanding the giggling culprit to turn the stove off. Finally a girl hurries over and shuts the gas off. No midnight snack for now.

Around 1 a.m. the party dies down. Most everyone stumbles out of the house, files into a cab or car and heads off to the bars down the hill.

The kids fall asleep upstairs, their rooms cold on an early March night. The noise from the party kept them up well into the night, the local papers will report in the morning, but they finally found sleep just before the fire started, right after everyone had left.

The fire raged for two hours that night, between 1:30 and 3:30. Three engine companies were called in to control the blaze which was relatively tame for the section of town known for its wood frame houses and numerous arsons. The fire started after all the partygoers had left for the bars, after the children had fallen asleep for the night. But not before their mother had sobered up from the fun.

Upon their arrival, police said Mia Marshman struggled to recall whether all three of her children made it out of her burning Larimer home. Police asked her several times if she had another child in addition to the two that had escaped, but she was unresponsive.

Finally, a passer-by from the neighborhood informed authorities she did have a third child, according to the complaint.

Firefighters found 6-year-old Isaiah Marshman in a room on the second floor, trapped by thick black smoke. Isaiah was in cardiac arrest when paramedics started treating him, according to a police department news release.

He died less than an hour later, at 3:45 a.m., in UPMC Mercy.

Ms. Marshman told police she started it while cooking after she "drank a lot of alcohol and had some weed," according to the complaint. Arson investigators later determined the blaze began in the first floor kitchen because a pot of grease was left unattended and overheated, police said. Her blood tested positive for marijuana and her blood alcohol content was 0.268. Keiyonna Trowery, just two years old, was taken to Children's Hospital in stable condition. Marshman's 8-month-old son, Javon Marshman, was also taken there as a precaution. But Isaiah, sleeping on the top floor of the apartment surrounded by a few stuffed animals and some dinosaur action figures, never had a chance. The police found him still tucked into his bed, untouched by the flames as he was overcome by the smoke.

[Source article] Larimer mother charged in fatal fire — She was drunk, police report says

By Wade Malcolm, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [Friday, March 28, 2008]

Visibly intoxicated in the early morning of March 4, Mia S. Marshman struggled to recall whether all three of her children made it out of her burning Larimer home, police said.

Police asked her several times if she had another child in addition to the two that had escaped, but she was unresponsive, according to a criminal complaint filed against her yesterday.

Finally, a passer-by from the neighborhood informed authorities she did have a third child, according to the complaint.

Firefighters found 6-year-old Isaiah Marshman in a room on the second floor, trapped by thick black smoke. Isaiah was in cardiac arrest when paramedics started treating him, according to a police department news release.

He died less than an hour later, at 3:45 a.m., in UPMC Mercy.

Police charged Ms. Marshman yesterday with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of children in connection with his death.

At the scene of the fire on the 6400 block of Winslow Street, Ms. Marshman told police she started it while cooking after she "drank a lot of alcohol and had some weed," according to the complaint.

Arson investigators later determined the blaze began in the first floor kitchen because a pot of grease was left unattended and overheated, police said.

Ms. Marshman initially consented to a blood alcohol test, but then refused when she arrived at UPMC Presbyterian, according to the complaint. Police obtained a warrant for her blood, and it tested positive for marijuana and her blood alcohol content was 0.268, more than three times the legal limit to drive, according to the complaint.

Ms. Marshman's daughter, 2-year-old Keiyonna Trowery, was taken to Children's Hospital in stable condition. Her 8-month-old son, Javon Marshman, was also taken there as a precaution.

Firefighters responded to the blaze around 2:45 a.m. and found Ms. Marshman inside with her infant boy. Keiyonna was later rescued from a second-floor bedroom. Firefighters had the two-alarm fire under control by 3:20 a.m.

Homicide detectives arrested Ms. Marshman at 8:45 a.m. yesterday. She was awaiting arraignment last night.

Sixteen women testify oral surgeon molested them under anesthesia

By Gabrielle Banks, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [Saturday, March 29, 2008]

Sixteen patients gave similar accounts yesterday of their oral surgeon sexually assaulting them when they were coming off anesthesia after surgery.

After a long line of victims took the stand at the doctor's preliminary hearing yesterday, defense attorney William H. Difenderfer said he was not rattled by their statements. "When you're under this anesthesia, you do have hallucinations," he said.

Dr. Robert John Boyda Jr., 43, of Mt. Lebanon, is charged with sexually assaulting 20 female patients at his Robinson and Scott offices on various dates over a five-year period.

The defendant's family, friends, and co-workers packed three rows for the standing-room-only hearing at the Allegheny County Courthouse. Victims' families and supporters took up the other side of the room, filing in and out with witnesses throughout the five-hour proceeding.

The victims ranged in age from ranged in age from 13 to 57 at the time of the alleged assaults.

A 19-year-old woman told the court she had wisdom teeth pulled on Dec. 26. When she awoke in the recovery room, she said, the doctor was forcing her hand on his genitals, rubbing her chest with his other hand and saying, "That's a girl."

An 18-year-old recalled going to Dr. Boyda when she was 13 to get a lump removed from her inner lip. She testified that when she awoke from anesthesia the doctor had wrapped her hand around his genitals and said, "that's a girl," and "good girl."An 18-year-old who needed wisdom teeth extracted testified that when she awoke from surgery Aug. 14, 2006, Dr. Boyda's genitals were exposed and he forced his penis in her mouth. When a nurse or assistant passed by the open door, she said, he pivoted to hide what was going on.

She said she told her mother when she got home, but didn't report the offense until she heard about Dr. Boyda in the news, because "Who really wants to admit that?"

A 58-year-old recalled awakening after her four front teeth were extracted in Dec. 2006 and feeling Dr. Boyda's penis in her mouth.

A 22-year-old who had a procedure on Nov. 9 said she awoke to find him rubbing his penis against her lips. "I looked at him. I made a waving motion and said 'No,' " she said. "He said, 'Shhhh, it's OK.'"

Mr. Difenderfer asked each patient whether they recalled other details from their surgical procedures, like the IV tube and the heart monitor. Some said those details were foggy, but they all vividly recalled the sexual assaults.

He asked a few witnesses why they waited to report the assaults until after they heard news reports about a pattern of abuse at the office. He questioned a few women about why they'd returned for treatment after the alleged assaults.

The defendant maintained a calm demeanor throughout the hearing, although courtroom observers gasped and whispered in response to the victims' testimony about the abuse.

Magisterial District Judge Gary M. Zyra said he would rule later on whether Dr. Boyda should be held for trial on multiple counts involving the 16 victims. Judge Zyra also arraigned Dr. Boyda yesterday on charges involving the 20th victim. Charges from that case and those related to three remaining victims will be heard jointly.

After testimony wrapped for the day, Carol Kline, 74, a family friend who said she'd known Dr. Boyda since he was 12, said "This is ludicrious and it's a miscarriage of justice. I think it's a farce and a witch hunt.


Last modified 31 March 2008