Murder suspect was high school coach

The prime suspect in the Dec. 3 murder of a Pittsburg man in Walnut Creek was a junior varsity football coach at Benicia High School, Benicia Unified School District Assistant to the Superintendent Betty Jensen said today.

Jonathan Marvin, a 34-year-old Benicia resident, was arrested Thursday, but has not been charged in connection with the murder of Eric James Martin, 30, who was found shot to death in his car in a parking lot in Walnut Creek.

Marvin has instead been charged with transporting and possessing marijuana for sale, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's office. His bail has been set at $300,000, and he remains in custody at the

Martinez Detention Facility, a county jail official said.

Jensen said that Marvin was a stipend coach hired for the football season. At the time of the homicide, Marvin was no longer working for the school district. This was his first year coaching, Jensen said.

When he was hired, the school district conducted a background check and found no prior convictions, Jensen said. She also said that no problems involving Marvin were reported during his brief tenure at the high school.

Walnut Creek investigators would not say why Marvin is suspected of killing Martin other than that the two men had been acquaintances.

Marvin was arraigned on the marijuana charges Tuesday, but did not enter a plea. He is scheduled to return to court for counsel and plea Dec. 20. The district attorney's office could not comment on whether the drug charges were connected to the homicide, Senior Deputy District Attorney Dara Cashman said.

Martin's death was the city's second homicide this year following an apparent murder-suicide on Oct. 2.

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