Suspect appears in court in Marsh killing

  • by John Ferrannini, Assistant Editor
  • Tuesday March 21, 2023
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Curtis Marsh was found stabbed to death March 4. Photo: Courtesy Oakland LGBTQ Community Center
Curtis Marsh was found stabbed to death March 4. Photo: Courtesy Oakland LGBTQ Community Center

A UC employee charged in the stabbing death of an Oakland Black gay man now has an attorney, though his plea date was pushed back to next month as he appeared in an Alameda County courtroom Tuesday.

Sweven Waterman, 38, of Oakland is now set to enter a plea Wednesday, April 5, in Department 112 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse, near Jack London Square.

He is currently in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin after having been charged by the Alameda County District Attorney's office with the homicide of Curtis Marsh, 53, also of Oakland.

At a hearing Tuesday morning, David J. Briggs — a private attorney with an office in Richmond — became Waterman's lawyer.

Briggs declined to comment to the Bay Area Reporter while leaving the courtroom of Judge James Cramer.

Marsh, who was also known as drag artist Touri Monroe, was a hair stylist and a Miss Gay Oakland emeritus who used to sing with the Oakland Gay Men's Chorus. Originally from Iowa, friends described him as fun, helpful, and active in his church.

He was killed the morning of March 4, police said. Police responded to the 200 block of Vernon Street in the Adams Point neighborhood just before 8 a.m. after a report of a disturbance, Oakland Police Officer Darryl Rodgers stated in an email to the B.A.R.

That "disturbance" consisted of "reports of an individual screaming," Chambers confirmed. When officers arrived, Oakland firefighters were on the scene extinguishing a fire.

"Upon arrival, officers located an Oakland resident with multiple lacerations," Rodgers stated. "The victim succumbed to their injuries and medical units pronounced the victim deceased on scene. Investigators from the OPD Homicide Section responded to the scene to begin the follow-up investigation into the circumstances surrounding the homicide."

Neighbors told KTVU-TV that the perpetrator set the fire and left the front door and gate open when running away. No motive has been given, nor the circumstances of if or how the two men knew one another.

Waterman is on administrative leave from his job as a senior custodian with UC Berkeley, the school told the B.A.R. on March 13. He has six prior convictions dating back to 2002, including felony evasion, forgery, robbery, and vehicle theft, according to Berkeley Scanner.

The DA's office did not respond to a request for comment for this report as of press time.

A memorial was held March 11 at the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center where friends remembered him.

Marsh is one of two gay Black men who were killed in Oakland this month. But so far no suspect has been found in the March 12 shooting death of Devonte Davis, police told the B.A.R. March 20.

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