A former Baton Rouge school administrator accused in the 2016 killing of a pregnant colleague and their unborn child told detectives he met with the woman "just to talk" the night before her blood-spattered car and wandering 3-year-old daughter were found in a parking lot, according to his police interview played in court Thursday.
Robert Jovantie Marks was questioned by Baton Rouge police detectives Zac Woodring and Chris Polito on June 9, 2016, the day Lyntell Washington's car and her daughter were located on Newcastle Avenue in the city.
Washington's body was discovered June 14, 2016, in an Iberville Parish field. She was seven months pregnant and had been shot in the head.
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Woodring testified Thursday at a hearing in Marks' second-degree murder and first-degree feticide case that a "considerable amount of blood" was found in Washington's car.
"We assumed the worst had happened," the detective said while being questioned by prosecutor Stephen Pugh.
Woodring said Marks, 42, of Zachary, was detained for questioning after Washington's 3-year-old daughter spoke with authorities.
"She said something about a loud bang and mommy going to sleep," the detective testified.
A police report says the girl told investigators she was with her mother and "Mr. Robbie" when she heard the loud noise and saw him trying to clean up blood.
Marks was a Brookstown Middle Magnet School assistant principal at the time, and Washington, 40, was an instructional specialist at the school.
Woodring said Marks told detectives he met Washington at a Walmart in Baker the night before her car was found and that he spoke with her for about 30 minutes. In his videotaped statement, Marks said he met with her "just to talk."
Marks said he later went to the Twin Peaks restaurant on Siegen Lane and watched basketball games with friends, according to his statement.
Marks' attorney, assistant public defender Margaret Lagattuta, asked state District Judge Beau Higginbotham to suppress Marks' police statement. The judge denied the motion at the conclusion of Thursday's hearing, saying Marks had been advised of his rights and the knew the substance of the investigation.
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Woodring, who said police were conducting a missing person probe at the time they spoke with Marks, said Marks made no admission about Washington's death.
Marks was arrested June 10, 2016, on aggravated kidnapping and child desertion. After Washington's body was discovered, he was booked on first-degree murder and first-degree feticide. An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury indicted him on second-degree murder and first-degree feticide. Marks was fired after his indictment.
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Cellphone records indicate Marks and Washington were in the Iberville Parish area about 9:45 p.m. the night she went missing, a police report states.
Marks, who is married, has said he had nothing to do with Washington's killing.
A police affidavit says Washington asked Marks in a text message if he was trying to avoid responsibility for "our unborn child."
During Marks' police interview, Polito asked him, "Did she ever threaten to talk to your wife?"
Marks replied "No."
Marks' next court date is Nov. 19.