Boyfriend indicted on 4 charges in University of Georgia professor’s death

Photo: Baldwin County Sheriff's Office / University of Georgia
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By Zachary Hansen The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS)

ATLANTA — A man accused of strangling his girlfriend — a University of Georgia professor — to death last year has been indicted on four charges, including felony murder and involuntary manslaughter, authorities said.

Marcus Allen Lillard, 41, was indicted Monday by a Baldwin County grand jury in the death of Marianne Shockley, a 43-year-old mother of two who was an international leader of entomophagy, the human consumption of insects.

She was found dead on the pool deck of a Milledgeville home May 13.

Officers interviewed Lillard and the home’s owner, 69-year-old Clarke Heindel, who fatally shot himself while deputies were still at the home. His death has been ruled a suicide, and the entire situation was described by the county’s sheriff as “one of the strangest cases that we’ve ever worked.”

The two men called 911 just after 1 a.m., saying that Shockley apparently drowned in a hot tub while Lillard was gathering firewood. Deputies arrived to find all three of them naked, with Lillard attempting to perform CPR on Shockley, according to an incident report.

Shockley was bleeding from an apparent head wound and was pronounced dead at the scene, which was at Heindel’s home.

Deputies soon learned that the two men waited 45 minutes before calling 911 because she “appeared to be breathing faintly,” according to the report.

Her autopsy found that she died from strangulation, leading to Lillard being charged in her death.

Lillard, a car salesman, was initially charged with murder, concealing a death and aggravated assault by deputies. However, the grand jury indicted him on charges of felony murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and concealing the death of another, a Baldwin County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Lillard’s arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 24.

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