Arresting officers testify in Irby murder trial

·2 min read

Jun. 11—MOUNT VERNON — Marysville police officers involved in the 2005 arrest of Terrance Jon Irby testified in his murder trial Thursday about how a traffic violation led to evidence connecting him to the death of James Rock.

Irby, 63, is accused of killing Rock of Hamilton and stealing several of his guns on March 8, 2005, the same day Irby was arrested in Marysville.

He's been found guilty of murder in three previous trials, but each of those convictions was overturned by the state Court of Appeals.

Sergeant Wallace Forslof, then a patrol officer with the Marysville Police Department, was the officer who first came upon Irby's truck after Irby led police on a chase after running a red light.

In his testimony, he said he and other officers were called out to locate the vehicle, which police had been looking for following the chase. He found it immobile and damaged at a railroad crossing.

Irby had fled, but Forslof said he observed three guns in the truck. Law enforcement would later determine these guns belonged to Rock.

A boot was also found in the vehicle, with blood splatter that DNA testing determined belonged to Rock.

John Hendrickson, a retired Marysville Police Department K9 officer, testified about tracking Irby after the truck was found.

After arriving on the scene, he said his dog quickly picked up a strong scent from the truck.

"He took off strong, northbound," Hendrickson said. "I just held the end of the lead and let him do his job."

Irby was found soon after hiding in a row of hedges, where he was arrested, Hendrickson said.

Dr. Daniel Selove, a retired medical examiner who took part in Rock's autopsy, testified about Rock's injuries after his body was found in his garage. Based on the number of different injuries, Selove guessed Rock was struck by three different implements.

Selove described damage to the rear of the skull as a result of multiple "full force impacts" that he likened to the act of breaking open a coconut.

In addition to these blunt strikes, Selove said there were a number of what appeared to be knife wounds and bone fractures, several of which were severe enough to be fatal on their own.

— Reporter Brandon Stone:, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH