Defendant dies prior to arraignment


Mark Moran, a 33-year-old New Jersey man who faced charges from an alleged stabbing incident in Oak Bluffs on Oct. 9, died unexpectedly prior to arraignment. 

Moran’s obituary states that he was a veteran and firefighter who died at home on Wednesday, and left behind a wife and two daughters. The cause of death was not provided in the obituary.

At Moran’s arraignment on Friday, Edgartown District Court Judge Paul Pino dismissed all charges against him. The charges were dismissed on a motion made by defense attorney Robb Moriarty. Moriarty’s motion notified the court Moran was deceased. 

Assistant District Attorney Brian Degan didn’t object to the motion. 

“Mark Moran passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 13,” Moriarty wrote in a statement to The Times. “Mark was a father to two young daughters, a veteran of the U.S. Navy who deployed multiple times to the Middle East, and a firefighter in New Jersey. Given the circumstances of both the incident and his passing, what I came to find out about Mark, and Mark’s record of service to his country and community, it is clear to me that the unfortunate incident that occurred last weekend was the product of human frailty, and not a depraved heart. I only had the chance to meet Mark for a short period of time the day before he passed, but he made quite the impression. My sympathies are with his two daughters and their mother, his sister, and his mother Mary Ellen.”

Moran had been charged after allegedly stabbing a woman in the hand during an altercation in the area between the Ritz and Giordano’s Restaurant on Circuit Avenue. The woman was airlifted off-Island. Her condition is not known.



      • To both Bens– sorry you don’t like my comment.
        But let me explain my lack of empathy.
        This guy tried to kill a young woman on circuit ave.
        Make no mistake about that.
        Then we get to “the cause of death was not provided”
        Yeah, perhaps he was killed in a freak accident–
        But more likely he committed suicide or died of a drug overdose.
        Either way, he was an out of control tortured individual. Let me emphasize “tortured”.

        We can reasonably conclude that his deployments in war zones may have contributed to that. I understand the trauma of war– I have never been in combat, but I had an uncle who was on Iwo Jima — he had PTSD and spoke of the horrors he witnessed. He died at the age of 45 from alcoholism . Put that on the list of why we shouldn’t go to war.

        As for your concerns about his children.
        Given all that we know, perhaps, just perhaps, those children may get a shot at a better life without him.

        And I agree with Brian about his soul.

        • Yes, a young woman trying to help another woman gets stabbed, the man goes to jail, gets out and dies of an overdose. The guy is no longer fighting demons, he’s passed that on to the woman he stabbed and the family he left behind. How about now people show some compassion to the woman who no longer has the use of her hand which was needed for her livelihood, she had no idea who this guy was, she just was trying to help another woman being abused by this guy. Ironic that last week was the concert to end domestic violence!

    • The First Responder and Veteran communities wish to thank for your empathy over the loss of one of their own.
      Have you double checked your fire protection system?
      Thanked a Veteran for their service?
      How about thanking his daughters at their dad’s funeral, you could help fold the Veteran’s flag from his coffin.
      You could hand out little cards pointing how many of your tax dollars were saved by his jailer being denied his due.
      Am I being too harsh?
      Are you?

    • How can one of the most outspoken liberal voices in the comments sections be so crass and callous? Did somebody hack the account?

      • Alex– My account has not been hacked.
        Just because the guy is dead does not mean that I have to talk nice about him.
        According to L.Kelly , he was abusing one woman ( perhaps the mother of his children? ) And a local woman intervened. He was messed up enough to attempt to kill her. This was a dangerous guy. If he was willing to abuse a woman in public, I can only imagine what he did in private.
        It may sound crass and callous to you, but I AM thinking about the children. I’m sure that in the short term they are sad, but they have been spared a childhood of watching their father abuse their mother ( or whoever) and likely themselves. This guy seemed off enough that he probably kicked the dog also.
        And what’s a liberal supposed to do, anyway ? Should I go down to 5 corners and “virtue signal” by holding up a sign denouncing violence against women ? No Alex, you are reading me wrong. As a liberal, I know how abuse at an early age can screw up your entire life. The kids are better off, I am happy for them. And this tortured soul is now at rest– By his own doing..
        And to Albert. I am a veteran. My father served 20 years in the submarine service, survived the sinking of his sub, the Sculpin — (ss-191) and spent 19 months working the copper mines as a slave for his cruel Japanese masters.
        17 years later, a Japanese family moved right next to our house in a predominately military neighborhood. Many people there wanted to “burn them out” My father invited his American neighbors over and told them that he had more reason to hate the Japanese than anyone else there, and that my mother was going to bake a cake the next day and they were going to welcome that family into the neighborhood. I have my father’s flag.
        I do not need to be lectured about respecting veterans.

        • Sometimes it’s best to say nothing, especially when you know little about the families involved. If you’re capable of doing that.

        • Don, you do need to be lectured on respecting our proud parotitic Veterans, and the First Responders, who save the lives of those who disrespect them.
          If there is ever a fire at your house, save the ‘state’ money and put it out yourself.
          Maybe you can even get your daughter out in time.
          Maybe not.
          Look at the money saved.

          • Albert — I actually did have a small fire at my house while it was under construction. The tisbury fire department responded and I gave them a $500 donation.
            Where do you get the idea that I don’t respect these fine people?
            I have respect for veterans and firefighters, but I won’t give anyone a blanket pass to publicly abuse women or try to murder them.
            This guy may have been both, but he did not represent the values of either of these groups.
            As a “proud veteran” myself. I feel he is the one who has denigrated the veterans of this country.
            My comments were not about his service– They were about his abuse.

  1. When a similar, analogous case came up a few years ago in District Court, the deceased defendants attorney had to argue for quite sometime with a reluctant First Justice of Edgartown District Court, the Honorable J.Thomas Kirkman.
    After considerable persistence by that attorney, the matter was finally put to rest honorably, by a very dishonorable judge.

  2. I’m not sure the knife attack was an incident sparked by someone interfering in a situation of domestic violence, as someone else has suggested. All we do know is that it is a tragic situation that resulted in death and a serious hand injury.
    We have no idea of the circumstances of the knife attack, what this married father from NJ was doing in OB the night of the incident, or who he was with. This does appear to be a story about mental illness and substance abuse, though, as well as the tragic loss of life and a life altering injury that impacts more than the 2 people involved.

    It is nearly impossible to get mental health help for an adult in crisis who is a danger to himself or others until it is too late. It is also a fact that mental illness is the most misunderstood, most shamed, and most maligned illness in this country. The heartlessness over the tragic loss of life is stunning in these comments, but not unexpected. This is an entirely ignorant and typical reaction. To add to the problem, it is often police that are called to handle a mental health crisis even though their training is not geared toward handling it. It is rare that mental illness causes violence, but when alcohol is added to the mix…

    From the FB page of North Hudson Firefighters Association – IAFF Local 3950
    “October 15 at 3:10 PM ·
    It is with heavy heart and deep sadness that the North Hudson Firefighters Union, IAFF local 3950 announces the unexpected passing of active Fire Fighter, our Brother Mark Moran.
    Brother Moran began his career in November of 2017. He spent most of his career assigned to Squad 2 on the 4th platoon. Prior to his fire service career, Mark was a proud veteran of the United States Navy.
    Mark was 33 years old and is survived by his wife Tara Moran (née Sodon); his two daughters Teagan Kelly Moran and Keira Mackenzie Moran; his mother Mary Ellen Moran; his sisters Erica Moran Etter and Lindsay Harold; his brothers-in-law Joshua Etter and Graham Mangini-Harold; his nieces Nora and Audrey Etter and his nephews Grayson and Logan Harold; his grandfather Thomas Moran; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
    Visitation will be held October 17, 2021, from 1 to 4pm at John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, 115 Tindall Road, Middletown. A Funeral Liturgy will be offered on October 18, 2021 at 9:30am at St. Catherine’s Church, 110 Bray Ave., N. Middletown. Burial will follow at Bay View Cemetery, Leonardo.
    In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Mark’s name to Helmets to Hardhats, a national nonprofit program that connects military service members to skilled career opportunities. Please visit the link in the comments to make a donation.
    Timothy Colacci
    North Hudson Firefighters Union, IAFF Local 3950
    #Iaff3950 #NorthHudsonRegionalFireRescue #IAFF #PFANJ”

    And then there’s this:

  3. This is so sad for all involved. The victim, Mark’s wife, his daughters, his sister, his mother and the rest of his family. For some of you people that posted such disgusting comments, shame on you. I am very sorry for the victim first and foremost but not one of us know the reason this happened in the first place. Possibly he had too much to drink (if he was drinking), maybe something triggered him that none of us know about…it could be many things. None of us are perfect, far from it so please keep your rude, disgusting, sickening, judgmental opinions to yourself. RIP

    • Diane– I can assume you are talking about my comments here.
      What I think is upsetting is that most of the liberals here are defending this guy.
      Aren’t liberals the ones that detest abusive men ?
      I don’t know and I really don’t care if he had substance abuse issues or was traumatized in the military or whatever excuse you might come up with for him..
      He tried to kill a woman on Circuit Ave for intervening in an abusive conflict.
      Excuse me if I have no sympathy for this guy.
      I doubt this happened in a vacuum– and to Jackie, there are plenty of services available to mentally ill and addicted people. Something was obviously wrong here– His wife and sister could have intervened in some way. Perhaps they didn’t because they were afraid.
      Even worse if that is the truth.
      I feel some sadness for his family, and I certainly feel sadness for the brave woman who was seriously injured, but I will reiterate that the family are all likely better off now.
      I am sure they have all suffered..
      But my guess is they will suffer less now. Especially the children..
      That is not a disgusting opinion, that is a clear eyed reality.
      You are correct, none of us is perfect. but most of us don’t abuse women and try to kill them .

      • Don- you’re veered off the rails here. You’re making judgments and assertions you’re not qualified to make and you’re alienating the fellow progressives who normally align with you. Put down the shovel. The hole will just get deeper. Try to preserve some dignity.

      • Don, no one is defending the horrible attack. You’re making wild, unfounded assumptions based on air about who this man was, without any information to back up your cruel claims and judgments. The knife attack was one horrible, horrible incident,but we don’t know any history. I’ve read 3 different obituaries and this man’s life of service and helping others does not mesh with this incident. It just doesn’t. Maybe he was a long time domestic abuser, but we don’t know and there is absolutely nothing in any of the reporting that infers that. We don’t know anything about the cirucmstances. Also, wife beaters don’t usually abuse in public. I, too, know all about domestic abuse. L.Kelly is not identifying him or herself as a witness and is not part of the reporting. His/her comment is rumor, biased rumor, not fact.

        On the surface, it seems the police could have and should have held this man for an involuntary 3 day psych evaluation in a hospital because he clearly was a danger to himself and to others, but police are not trained well in handling psychiatric episodes, which is what this very well could possibly have been. Besides, the island has no way of handling this at our hospital. Brass knuckles? That does not fit with who this man seemed to be by those who knew and loved him. We simply don’t know. It may be your own personal projecting that assigns your heartless judgements that children are better off with a dead father, without knowing what was going on. If this were a brain tumor, say, or a psychotic break that could have been managed with medications so that this father, husband, son, brother, and firefighter could have gone on to pay for his alleged crime in a less tragic way, don’t you think he deserved the chance to do that?
        I am so sorry for injuries to the island woman. I hope she makes a full recovery and has full use of her hand.
        And Don, you simply do not know what you are talking about if you think mental health services are easily attained by ill people in crisis. There’s actually nothing loved ones can do, either, often until it’s too late. Sometimes jail is the safest alternative because you can’t just say, dear, why don’t you check yourself into the hospital? Do you know how many mentally ill people populate our prisons? I’m really surprised you can’t see there may be much more to this tragedy than you allow. But it is way off for you to say you are happy for these unfortunate children.

  4. The opening sentence says it all, ‘alleged’. The commentary thus far has run the gambit of speculation. We know nothing, unless you were there, about what happened. It isn’t a stretch to say it wouldn’t be the first time the police got it wrong. The Times needs to follow up this story with some details on the police report and witness statements.

Comments are closed.