Tatem Murder Trial Begins in Wicomico County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Tatem Murder Trial Begins in Wicomico County

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WICOMICO COUNTY, Md.- The trial began Monday for 35-year-old Paul Tatem who is accused of killing 72-year-old Donald Mariner inside Mariner's home on Pemberton Drive just outside of Salisbury last spring.

Police said Mariner was found dead inside his home in the early morning hours of April 16th, 2014.  Numerous officers testified on Monday that Mariner was found covered in blood inside a bathroom in the home.  When officers first arrived, Mariner was still alive but gasping for air.  Testimony on Monday revealed Mariner was pronounced dead around 1:30 that morning.  The prosecution told the jury during opening arguments that Paul Tatem is responsible for the crime and that Tatem broke into the home and assaulted Mariner with a baseball bat in the head and face.

It took police over two months to make an arrest in the case.  Tips from the public combined with forensic evidence led police to Tatem who was arrested on July 1st, 2014.

Tatem is facing charges of 1st and 2nd degree murder along with attempted 1st and 2nd degree murder.  Police said Mariner's housemate was also assaulted during the incident but survived the attack.

However, during the opening arguments for the defense on Monday, Tatem's attorneys said they were going to show that Tatem was never even at the scene on April 16th, and that it was Tatem's girlfriend who is responsible for the crime.  The defense said Tatem's girlfriend's DNA was on a key that was found in the back door of Mariner's home on April 16th.

The trial is expected to continue until Wednesday.  Mariner's housemate and Tatem's girlfriend are expected to take the stand.  No word yet if Tatem will take the stand in his own defense in Wicomico County.

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