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Lawyer says client showed up with body in truck

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Ft. Myers, FL (WBBH) — It’s a scenario you usually only hear about in fiction crime shows.

“They don’t teach you this in law school. It’s a strange situation,” said attorney Robert Harris.

While police and deputies on scene are not telling us much, Harris tells us that a client of his – named John Marshall – drove to his office around 4:15 p.m. and was dirty, had missing teeth and appeared to have some broken fingers.

He said Marshall then told him that he got into a fight with a neighbor of his in Bokeelia and fatally shot him.

Marshall then told him that the body was in the back of the pickup truck he drove to the office.

“Once I learned of the facts, I called 911,” said Harris.

Police and deputies then swarmed the building, located on Virginia Avenue. A blue pickup truck was surrounded with crime scene tape.

Marshall was questioned at the law firm, located on Virginia Avenue, for several hours. Harris said Marshall was not being arrested and instead was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.

We learned that Marshall has since been discharged from Lee Memorial Hospital.

Harris said Marshall had recently come to him saying the neighbor had threatened him over building on a property in Bokeelia. Harris recommended a restraining order – but Wednesday Marshall told him it got physical.

“This man went up to him and said he wanted to apologize for his behavior and then pulled the gun,” said Harris.

The attorney said Marshall told him the neighbor pistol-whipped him. The two then wrestled to the ground and then the neighbor got shot.

“He’s distraught. He’s a man who fought for his life tonight, but it doesn’t change the fact that someone is dead,” Harris said.

Harris says Marshall, who he has been representing for an aggravated battery case, has been cooperating with police.

“I’ll be representing him on whatever charges he faces. I tell you this, this is as clear cut a self defense case as I’ve seen,” he said.

But that’s something that can only be determined in court after investigators gather all the facts.

The Fort Myers Police Department is staying very tight-lipped about the situation – only telling us it’s a death investigation.

Neighbors

We went to Bokeelia where Harris says it all started. Neighbors say Marshall recently bought an empty lot on Hodges Drive.

The house just across the street from the lot is where neighbors say the man who was shot lived for many years.

Neighbors say the two could not get along. Just a few days ago, one of the neighbors says Marshall told him he was threatened by the other man.

Marshall’s attorney says this is a self-defense case but some neighbors say they have a tough time believing that.

“I’m just absolutely devastated,” said neighbor Jill Hammer. The integrity and the love this man shows to all his neighbors and his family and he’s gone. He would never have started a confrontation. He would have turned and walked away.

By Brittany Weiner