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Video: Prosecution's Closing Appeal for Justice

Ebrahim Baytieh's final comments to jurors before the begin deliberations in the trial of Richard Forsberg for killing his wife, Marcia Forsberg.

The prosecution and defense took different styles into their closing comments in the trial to determine whether Richard Forsberg of Rancho Santa Margarita murdered his wife of 39 years, Marcia Ann Forsberg.

Her death in the early morning hours of Feb. 9, 2010, came on the 42nd anniversary of the couple's first date as sweethearts at Ventura College. Marcia was 60 at the time of her death.

Forsberg, now 63, confessed to pummeling his wife with a one-pound nightstand figurine—a six-armed Hindu goddess. He said she lay in bed and said something dismissive to him and turned away from him after an argument, an act that "triggered a rage" in him. He cut up her body and burned the parts at Lake Piru, then told friends and family that she was visiting a friend in Arizona to work things out while the couple underwent marital discord—a ruse he maintained for six months until friends filed a missing persons report.

Forsberg was defended by Calvin Schneider III and prosecuted by senior deputy district attorney Ebrahim Baytieh.

The jury, which heard more than eight hours of audio and video interviews with Forsberg during the trial, continues deliberation on Monday.

After the prosecution and defense gave their final arguments, Baytieh was given the final rebuttal in which he told jurors they were the "last link in the chain of justice," and they should pour water on the white rose of truth—a symbol he used for his statement that "the truth will always come out." He also made reference to Marcia Forsberg being denied a funeral because there was nothing left of her at the hands of her husband.

Watch the final words before the jury took possession of the case against Forsberg for the death of his wife Marcia Ann.

Janet Whitcomb December 10, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Marcia was my writing mentor. On numerous occasions during his taped confession, Richard Forsberg mentions how relatively easy he found it to accomplish his ghoulish tasks. That alone is a warning that he should never have the opportunity to leave prison. Those who knew Marcia always will mourn her disappearance from our lives. On the other hand, we look forward to putting Richard out of our minds forever. My accompanying photo shows me smiling. Please know this case has caused tremendous grief for each of us who valued Marcia for—among a long list of wonderful qualities—her kindness, wit, style, and friendship.
April Josephson December 11, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Janet, I was thinking of you as I read Martin's thoroughly detailed account of the trial. Based on what and how this transpired, I agree with your characterization. I am so sorry for the grief this has caused you and Marcia's other friends. I hope the murder conviction brings everyone a sense of closure at last.
Judy Lee-Squire December 12, 2012 at 02:33 AM
It is so disgusting and sad what happened to this woman. I have great difficulty finding any sense of justice other than Rick Forsberg spending the rest of his life in prison.
Janet Whitcomb December 12, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Thanks, April. I did not know Marcia as well as some. However, it was she who helped jump-start my writing, and along with about 30 other volunteers, we were among those who first met to found RSM's Friends of the Library. For a time Marcia and I also were among about four or five others who met at the library to discuss our writing efforts. The last time I saw her, she and Rick were at Ralphs, a few checkout lanes over from where I was. We waved and exchanged greetings. They were joking and smiling and looking like the happiest couple in the world. I have tried to place exactly when that meeting occurred, but I cannot. What I do know is that after that time and until August 2010, when walking towards the Ralphs entrance I'd invariably think of Rick and Marcia and wish more married couples were as happy as they were.
David Petrisevac December 12, 2012 at 04:57 AM
Hi Janet,..He said many things..both what you heard in court as-well-as him mentioning things on the street. One comment before Marcia’s murder was how he bragged about his favorite fishing tool was a 7inch buck knife. Even non-fisherman know that you can’t fish for fish with anything other than a rod or spear gun. He gave me a serrated knife with the words “The TV Knife” on the box. A pair of shoes..and a exactoblade set. He gave me a shirt that had a picture of a bass that said “life is simple –eat, sleep, fish”. All this and more prior to Marcia’s murder. He walked across the street to say how he really liked power tools from Lowe’s and Home Depot. And knew I was into construction work and what “new item” did I come-across there? I said: “some of the painting tools, but the black plastic tub that one’ uses to mix cement in was the best new thing so-far.” “Wasn’t that one of the items he used to get Marcia down stairs to the garage? Two big meat freezers is what he bought? Had to find the “Bone Saw” to cut Marcia’s body up..???? It’s things like this that is all-telling of the kind of person this guy has been, and self-incriminated himself to detectives and court room. I will be writing a Witness Impact Statement and continue to heal from this. My Christmas is a little marred, plus..time leading up to this. Marcia got Justice. But..he should’ve got twice as much as he did get. Thanks for the kinds words Janet and April. Dave
Martin Henderson (Editor) December 12, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Dave, was the Exacto Blade set new or used? And did he give it to you after March 2010. Testimony revealed that Forsberg cut up the couple's California King mattress with an exacto knife, although I believe he said it was the kind that used razor blades, but for sure the word Exacto was used at some point in the trial.
David Petrisevac December 12, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Hi Martin,..it was used,..and he gave the set to me in 2006, or 2007, it is when he fixed my mom's computer. The date is hard to recover from the computer. But I think more like around Sept. 2007. The dust in the exacto blade set probably would test to be connected to his house. I have not cleaned the tool.
Janet Whitcomb December 12, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Judy, I very much agree with you. And thank you, Dave, for your input regarding Forsberg’s demeanor prior to 2010. It would seem he was showing signs of a twisted personality some time before the slaying of his wife and dispassionate treatment of her remains. One of Martin's reports notes that Judge Froeberg stated the jurors would have access to counseling, given the gruesome testimony to which they were exposed. I’d already thought highly of Judge Froeberg, and now all the more so. I'd also like to add that District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh and his assistant Melissa Melgar have shown those of us who knew Marcia tremendous compassion and consideration.
David Petrisevac December 12, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Yes Janet, I already have the Highest regards for Orange Co.’s city government employees and first-responders. They are second to none in the country. This first, hopefully last, ultra ugly thing to happen in RSM’s two decade plus existence will fade away. I will go back to being a low profile little guy retired and fishing with my family. The sales of the book may suffer because of the quick bulky website I was forced to put up because of the time writing what I know for a year and half. But I will defend my good name if it is drug thru “ANY” kind of mud. I’ve been a choir boy since 1985. And twenty of it has been in this great town. R.I.P. Marcia! Martin: I respect your work, thank you.
Martin Henderson (Editor) December 13, 2012 at 07:24 AM
If he gave it to you that early, then definitely not used to cut up the mattress. I was wondering if you had a morbid memento of the tragedy. Just a terrible event.
David Petrisevac December 13, 2012 at 09:04 PM
I will end it on Your Note, Martin. I seem to be the only one grappling with some of facts this past week. I would like to see a picture of the kind of exacto knife Richard talked about using. I'm just glad that the Jurors saw thru him, was not fooled by his cunning ways, both her and his plight together was telling, somewhat, and their dynamics was interesting -the real dynamics. Merry Christams, and Happy Holidays to you all...if I don't jump back in here.
Michael Cascada December 15, 2012 at 07:38 AM
Michael Cascada This was a strange but different couple, Dave and I knew them very well and will never forget his strange behavior Holloween 2007. She was so very very nice RIP Marcia
David Petrisevac December 17, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Hi Michael, ..I got an email from a close friend of Marcia's, and she was interested in you expanding on your comment on the Halloween 2007 story. Tell them about the telescope story, too. And the NO-Child Group that they belonged to -too.

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