Killer sentenced in murder of ASU student

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Louis Harper By Alicia Barron Louis Harper By Alicia Barron
Zachary Marco By Alicia Barron Zachary Marco By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX – The man convicted in the 2010 shooting death of an Arizona State University student has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 25 years.

Louis Eugene Harper pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and armed robbery in the death of ASU junior Zachary Marco. Marco was walking home from the library around 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 17, 2010, near Rural Road and University Drive in Tempe, when he was shot in the head. He was taken to the hospital but died a short time later.

Police believe robbery was the motive for the shooting since the suspects stole Marco's laptop and cellphone, worth about $200 combined.

Dan Marco, Zachary's father, made sure to keep his son's story in the media. Eventually, police got the call they needed to help them solve the case.

"Some evidence came to us," said Cmdr. Kim Hale of the Tempe Police Department. "The laptop, the bag and some papers were found."

Investigators said fingerprints discovered on the computer bag led to a search warrant that turned up cellphone and text messages between Harper and a second suspect, Marion Anthony Patterson III. Both men are said to have some gang involvement.

Patterson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in February.

Zachary Marco was an honor student. His family says he worked as a page at the Arizona Senate and was about to start an internship in politics. He also planned to go to law school.