Arthur A. “Bud” Marshall, the longtime former Prince George’s State’s Attorney who died Jan. 13, didn’t talk much about his experiences in the Korean War, where he earned a Purple Heart after he was wounded during a famous battle.
But the former Army 1st Lieutenant was enormously proud of his service, so it was fitting that Marshall was buried Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. As dozens of relatives and friends walked behind, a caisson pulled by six white horses carried Marshall’s body from a chapel to the gravesite. A military honor band accompanied the procession.
Marshall died of heart failure at age 80.
At the gravesite, an honor guard fired a 21-gun salute, and a military bugler played “Taps.” Marshall, who was shot in the thigh while trying to save three fellow soldiers who were pinned down by enemy fire during the battle of Pork Chop Hill. was buried in his dress uniform, with a chest full of medals.
Marshall was buried next to his first wife, Elinor, an Army nurse who died of a brain aneurysm in 1969, and their infant son, who died in childbirth, said Circuit Court Judge Vincent J. Femia, who was friends with Marshall for 50 years.
Femia eulogized Marshall as resolute man with a strong sense of right and wrong.
Femia served for three years as Marshall’s deputy. In an interview, Femia said he told mourners, “The two things Bud Marshall stood for were honor and duty. That made working for him easy, because as long as you did what you believed to be right, he didn’t care whether you were right or wrong.”
In the interview Femia recalled how, when he was deputy state’s attorney in the early 1970s, a police officer called to tell him about an auto accident. Marshall was out of the office. When Femia asked the officer why he was worried about a minor car mishap, the officer replied that Marshall’s wife, Sally, had caused the accident. Femia said to treat her like any other motorist, and the officer wrote her a citation. Femia said that when he later told Marshall about the accident and the citation, Marshall agreed with the officer’s actions. .
Marshall served as the county’s top prosecutor from 1962 to 1986, when he was defeated in the Democratic primary by Alexander Williams Jr., who became the county’s first elected black state’s attorney. Williams is now a federal judge.
Marshall served as state’s attorney during a period of enormous change for the county. When Marshall was first elected, Prince George’s was a sleepy, majority-white rural county with a low level of violent crime. When he was first elected, Marshall had six part-time prosecutors, and he was the only full-time prosecutor.
Among the first people he hired as assistant state’s attorneys were Howard S. Chasanow and James H. Taylor, who were, respectively, the first Jewish and black prosecutors in Prince George’s. Chasanow and Taylor both went on to be appointed as state judges.
Marshall’s daughter, Patricia “Trish” Marshall, said her father wasn’t trying to make a political statement. “He didn’t care about the color of a person’s skin or their religion,” she said. “He wanted the best prosecutors he could find.” In all, at least 25 people Marshall hired as prosecutors became judges, Femia said.
By the time he left the office, Marshall had about 70 full-time prosecutors, and the county had become urbanized, with a concomitant spike in violent crime. The county was also on its way to becoming the country’s wealthiest majority-black county.
Marshall personally handled a number of high-profile prosecutions.He prosecuted Arthur Bremer, who in 1972 shot Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace, who was running in the Democratic presidential primary, during a campaign event in Laurel. The jury quickly convicted Bremer of attempted murder.
Near the end of his final term, Marshall launched an aggressive grand jury probe into who provided the cocaine which killed University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias shortly after he was drafted by the Boston Celtics in June of 1986. The investigation — including Marshall’s statement that Lefty Driesell, Maryland’s basketball coach at the time, should be fired, hurt him politically, some elected officials and voters said.
Femia said Marshall never shied away from prosecuting police officers if he believed they had done wrong, and wasn’t afraid of controversy.
“He never shied away from controversial prosecutions,” Femia said. “He never gave a minute’s notice to how a prosecution would affect him (politically).”