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Martin murder trial moved to Beltrami County

BEMIDJI -- A jury trial for a 1998 murder in Clearwater County is underway in Beltrami County. Troy Martin, 41, of Bagley will be tried for his part in the death of his sister 15 years ago.

Martin faces a second-degree unintentional murder charge. Martin and his brother Todd, 38, are accused of restraining and strangling their sister, Leisa Martin, 31, on Oct. 28, 1998 in their rural Bagley home. Her body was found three days later near Roy Lake in Mahnomen County.

Todd Martin confessed his part of the crime to a deputy after being arrested for DWI and assault against a peace officer in 2010. He also plead guilty to the lesser charge of aiding an offender in January of 2012 but has not been sentenced, according to Pioneer archives.

A gag order preventing the prosecuting attorney and attorney general from speaking to the media has been issued, according to Clearwater County court administration, although the case will be tried in Beltrami County. Martin’s attorney, John Undem, and the state’s attorney, Eric Schieferdecker, were not available for comment.

Second-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment. Martin’s jury trial is expected to continue in Bemidji Wednesday.


Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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