Man indicted for murder in death of JPSO Sgt. Tracey Marshall _lowres

James Darby

A Jefferson Parish grand jury on Thursday indicted James Darby on second-degree murder in the killing of Tracey Marshall, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office sergeant found shot to death in her truck in front of her Terrytown condo in December.

Darby, 48, was Marshall’s former boyfriend and quickly emerged as the prime suspect.

He had a felony conviction for aggravated incest in Orleans Parish and had been convicted in 2012 of cyberstalking Marshall.

In 2011, he violated a protective order Marshall had filed against him, and as recently as a month before Marshall was killed, Darby lodged a complaint against her, saying she hit him with her police baton.

Darby was arrested in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Dec. 15, the day after Marshall’s body was found, her hair hanging out of the shattered driver’s side window of a red pickup in the 2300 block of Ashley Drive.

Investigators said she had been shot about 9:40 p.m. Dec. 13; she was off duty at the time.

Police said Darby initially denied being in the area but soon admitted to following Marshall back to her condo, though he denied killing her. Cellphone records also placed him in the area.

A 10-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, Marshall was described by colleagues as a mentor to other officers.

Sheriff Newell Normand said she was “very well liked by everyone she touched in this organization.”

She started at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center before becoming a bailiff at the 24th Judicial District Courthouse in Gretna.

Darby is being held on $1 million bail.

The case has been allotted to Judge Nancy Miller’s section of 24th Judicial District Court.

If convicted, Darby faces life in prison.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.