A 27-year-old Ardmore man charged with seven crimes surrounding the 2013 Labor Day kidnapping and sexual attack on a child at an Ardmore apartment complex was bound over for trial Thursday in Carter County District Court.
Special District Judge Thomas Baldwin ruled he found cause to believe Brendon Edward Marusak had committed the crimes and should stand trial following explicit and oftentimes emotional preliminary hearing testimony. Formal arraignment is set for July 23.
Marusak was earlier determined incompetent, but District Attorney Craig Ladd said Thursday that since his arrest, Marusak had “attained competency” and has been ruled capable of understanding the charges and assisting in his defense.
The district attorney called five witnesses to testify during the preliminary hearing, including the victim’s mother. In addition, Capt. Kevin Norris, Ardmore Police Department, testified concerning the investigation of the child who was kidnapped from her home. He also described kicking open the barricaded door of Marusak’s Ashbrook apartment and finding the victim. Cpl. Billy Turnery, APD Criminal Investigations Division, also took the stand describing interviews with Marusak following his arrest. Other witnesses included a forensic interviewer and a nurse.
Ladd also presented DNA evidence to the court which links Marusak to the crimes that include kidnapping, first-degree rape, three counts of lewd or indecent acts to a child, first-degree burglary and possession of a controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine). Marusak was arrested about 9 a.m. Sept. 2 after police broke through the barricade of his apartment, and the child, who he was holding captive, was found. The victim was taken to a local hospital and later released.
Marusak was taken into custody without incident, and the victim rescued about an hour after the child’s mother reported waking up and finding the little girl missing from their home at the same apartment complex where Marusak lived.
“She was taken sometime during the night,” Sgt. Ryan Hunnicutt, APD public information officer, said at the time.
Another child, believed to have been an eyewitness, was able to provide police with a description of the kidnapper.
“Based on a description and previous nuisance calls from the apartment complex, officers developed information indicating Marusak was the suspect,” Hunnicutt said shortly after he was arrested.
A $750,000 bond was initially set in the case and an order stipulated if Marusak was able to post bond, he would only be released wearing a GPS ankle monitor. Marusak had remained detained on the bond since his arrest. He was returned to the county jail following the outcome of the preliminary hearing pending the posting of bond and/or the outcome of the case.