Hearing held in murder of Valley Head man

Marcus Ricketts

A preliminary hearing was held on Monday for the murder of a Valley Head man.

Marcus Gordon Ricketts, 22, of Valley Head was charged with the murder of Scott Golden in July.

According to previous reports, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office was informed on June 30 of a possible murder at a residence on County Road 9095 in Valley Head. When the officers arrived, Ricketts confessed to the murder and led investigators to Golden’s body where it was buried behind the residence.

Ricketts has been held in the DeKalb County Jail since being charged last month.

Ninth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Steven Whitmire led the preliminary hearing in the DeKalb County Courthouse on Monday morning. Ricketts arrived at approximately 10 a.m. and was brought in front of the judge shortly after.

Detective Joshua York was called to the stand and cross-examined by the Assistant District Attorney Bob Johnston and defense attorney Matt Green.

York said he was assigned the case as lead investigator after the county received information from Golden’s family.

“The family received information that he was dead and buried after he had been missing for some time before that,” York said.

According to York, Ritchie Golden, a relative of the deceased and employee of the Sylvania Police Department, contacted the sheriff’s office with the family’s concerns.

Golden died from a stab wound while in the mobile home that he shared with his daughter, Chasity Hill, and Ricketts, York said.

York said in Ricketts’ initial statement, he and Golden had an argument that led to Golden striking him in the face with a baseball bat.

“[Ricketts] said he ‘went into a rage and stabbed him’ and then buried him,” York said.

York then gave estimates of where the body was found in the woods behind the home.

York said Ricketts provided a written statement and audio confession the day of his arrest.

“He was sitting outside the home when we arrived and seemed really calm,” York said.

Ricketts cooperated with police and there were no other arrests made in the case, according to York.

Johnston said the autopsy report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Jacksonville had not been received as of the morning of the hearing.

No trial was set at the hearing on Monday.

Investigator Wade Hill said the trial would come at a later date.

“He’ll stay in jail until November, and we’ll present it to the grand jury,” Hill said.

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