Alleged rapist now charged with witness tampering in the case

kwadlow@keynoter.comMarch 15, 2014 

A Key Largo man jailed pending trial on sexual-assault charges tried to interfere with the victim's testimony, Monroe County Sheriff's Office deputies say.

Marcus E. Hammer, 41, was booked Wednesday on an additional felony count of attempting to intimidate a witness in a "life capital felony" case. That charge adds to the criminal counts Hammer faces that, if convicted, could lead to life in prison.

Hammer was arrested Feb. 1 in North Carolina on Monroe County warrants charging him with "repeatedly raping a Key Largo teen and for threatening her with a knife and a gun" eight times over a two-year period, according to the Sheriff's Office.

He also was charged with possessing material depicting sex acts involving a child and being a felon in possession of a gun.

The victim described the attacks to a deputy assigned to her school.

The new count stems from three telephone calls Hammer made to his wife, Amy, from the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island, where he is jailed in lieu of a $440,000 bond.

The arrest affidavit says that in recorded calls made Feb. 20 and Feb. 21, Hammer makes threats of financial ruin and demands that his wife speak to the victim in order to pressure her "to stop" and change her testimony.

Hammer "clearly uses intimidation toward Amy Hammer ... to compel her to convince the child to testify untruthfully," Deputy David Lariz wrote in the affidavit.

Circuit Court Judge Luis Garcia signed the warrant for the witness-tampering count. Bond on that count added another $30,000 to Hammer's bond.

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