|Martin pleads guilty to November Rockford murder|
|Monday, May 27, 2013 11:40 PM|
BY ED GEBERT
CELINA — The man accused of gunning down his live-in girlfriend in their Rockford trailer home has pleaded guilty.
On Friday, Daniel C. Martin entered a guilty plea to the one charge against him — murder with a specification that he used a firearm to commit the crime. The plea was confirmed in a press released from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
Martin is due to be sentenced on June 27 in Mercer County Court of Common Pleas. The potential sentence would be 15 years to life in prison with an additional three years for the weapon specification.
Martin was charged with shooting Melinda S. Shinn on Nov. 8, 2012 in the trailer they shared at 509 North St. in Rockford. Shinn’s 9-year-old child was present in the mobile home when the shooting occurred but was not injured. When police arrived at the trailer at around 10:45 a.m., Martin was nowhere to be found. Authorities searched for Martin and his vehicle, a 1998 Ford Explorer, which was not parked at the residence. The car was later found in Fort Wayne, where it was known Martin had relatives. He was captured in that city on Jan. 2 when deputy marshals and Mercer County detectives raided the home where Martin was staying. Authorities found an AK-47 rifle inside.
No motive has been publicly discussed, although it is known the couple were arguing on the evening of Nov. 7 due to text messages received that night by Shinn’s family members. The press release indicated that the Prosecutor’s Office would have no further comments at this time.
The murder investigation was only the fourth handled by the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office in the past 12 years.