A Woodstock man who spent four years on the run from police will likely spend far more than that behind bars.
On June 22, Jahson Marryshow was found guilty by an Ulster County Court jury of a 2010 crime spree that culminated with the robbery of the Bank of America branch in the Bradley Meadows Plaza on Mill Hill Road in Woodstock.
Marryshow was convicted of first-degree robbery, third-degree arson and fourth-degree grand larceny — charges stemming from a brazen heist back on June 30, 2010. On that date, Marryshow stole a car from a driveway in Bearsville, then drove the stolen car to a property in Shady, where he used gasoline to set fire to a dilapidated old barn. Then, as police and emergency crews raced to the scene, Marryshow took back roads back into the center of Woodstock. There, at Bradley Meadows Plaza, Marryshow donned a ski mask and goggles, walked into the bank and brandished a handgun at tellers. Marryshow fled in the stolen car with an undisclosed amount of cash. The car was later found abandoned on Tanglewood Drive.
The bank robbery touched off an intensive investigation, focused on Marryshow almost from the beginning. According to Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright, who had previously declined to share details of the investigation, witnesses inside the bank told investigators that they thought they recognized Marryshow, despite the disguise. The getaway car, meanwhile, turned up just a short distance from Marryshow’s home on Witchtree Road.
“He was in our sights early on,” said Carnright. “When we talked to him he was very calm, almost arrogant. He just said ‘I’m not involved, why would I be so stupid as to leave the car practically in my backyard?’”
Later, Marryshow agreed to take a polygraph test which, according to Carnright, he “failed utterly.” Polygraph results are not admissible and court and witnesses at the bank could not positively ID the masked gunman. So Marryshow remained free while Carnright’s office waited on the results of forensic tests conducted by the state police crime lab and the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office continued their investigation. Marryshow, meanwhile, had another run-in with the law when he allegedly got into a fist fight at the Cumberland Farms store adjacent to Bradley Meadows on September 26, 2010. An arrest warrant was issued charging Marryshow with misdemeanor assault. About three weeks later, Woodstock police caught up to Marryshow at Andy Lee Field in Woodstock. As they attempted to take him into custody, Marryshow broke free and ran, evading a manhunt that included dozens of cops, K-9 teams and a state police helicopter. Local authorities wouldn’t see him again for nearly four years.
On the lam, but still calls home
At the time of his disappearance, Marryshow was already the prime suspect in the arson and bank robbery. Those suspicions were confirmed when evidence collected from the getaway car turned up a single fingerprint and DNA that placed Marryshow inside the stolen vehicle. In November 2010, Marryshow was indicted for robbery, arson and grand theft, but authorities still had no idea where he was. Members of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office and U.S Marshals Service followed up leads in New York City — and New Orleans — to no avail. The hunt for Marryshow was even featured on a reality TV show.
According to Carnright, Marryshow spoke with the District Attorney’s Chief Investigator Bill Weishaupt by phone on at least two occasions while on the run. Carnright said Marryshow called to inquire about possessions seized by police following his disappearance and indictment.
“Bill just told him, ‘Sure, we’ve got it right here, come on in and you can have it,’” said Carnright. “Of course he never did.”
Marryshow was eventually reunited with his belongings…and Ulster County authorities. In September 2014, police in Eugene, Oregon received a tip that Marryshow was hiding out there. Eugene cops and U.S. Marshals placed Marryshow under surveillance and learned that he was scheduled to play in an Ultimate Frisbee tournament at a city park. Reasoning that he was unlikely to be armed on the playing field, plainclothes officers staked out the game, spotted Marryshow and placed him under arrest without incident.
Back in Ulster County, Carnright and Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Kavanagh put together a case that, in the absence of a confession or positive identification by witnesses relied largely on circumstantial evidence. Kavanagh put 18 witnesses, many of whom reported seeing the getaway car the day of the robbery. Finally, prosecutors used the fingerprint and DNA evidence to link Marryshow to the stolen vehicle.
“There was no plausible explanation for how that fingerprint and that DNA got in that car,” said Carnright. “That was key evidence for us.”
Marryshow faces up to 40 years in state prison when he’s sentenced in August. Carnright said that based on the nature of the crime and the level of planning that went into its execution, he would ask County Court Judge Donald Williams to impose consecutive sentences for the arson and robbery charges. First-degree robbery is a Class B violent felony which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison. Arson, a class C violent felony carries a maximum term of 15 years.