IMAGE: Evan Marshall
Nassau County Police Department  /  via AP
Evan Marshall was arrested a year ago in the death of a retired schoolteacher.
updated 9/12/2007 1:29:59 PM ET 2007-09-12T17:29:59

A resident of an exclusive gated community has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the slaying of a neighbor whose head was found in the trunk of his car.

Evan Marshall, 32, a bedding salesman, entered the plea Wednesday to murder, assault and other charges about a week before jury selection was to begin in his trial.

Marshall was arrested a year ago in the death of retired schoolteacher Denice Fox, his neighbor in Glen Cove on Long Island.

Marshall will get 30 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 19. He could have received life without parole if convicted at trial.

Authorities said Marshall broke into Fox's home and killed her, then took her remains to the home he shared with his mother and dismembered them. Her head was discovered in the trunk of Marshall's car. The rest, along with two knives taken from her home, were found in trash cans in the basement.

"I know it does little but I want to apologize to all the families involved," Marshall said in court, reading from a statement. "I feel absolutely terrible."

Fox, 57, who died on Aug. 17, 2006, was a retired New York City special education teacher who had moved to Glen Cove with her family several months earlier; police don't believe the suspect and victim knew each other.

Fox's daughter called police after she discovered her mother missing from her home, which showed signs of a break-in and had blood splattered in the foyer.

Marshall has a history of drug problems and was staying in a rehab facility at the time.

Prior to the killing, Marshall had no violent criminal history, with arrests only for petty theft and driving while intoxicated, authorities said.

On the morning Fox died, he also ran down a pedestrian, leaving the woman hospitalized.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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