CELINA — The suspect who Mercer County prosecutors allege shot and killed a Rockford woman in November made his first court appearance on Monday.
Flanked by his attorneys, Daniel Charles Martin, 40, was ordered held without bond on one count of murder in connection with the death of Melinda Shinn, 26. Martin, who stared down at the defense table for much of the hearing, is scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 25, where he is expected to enter a plea to the lone count contained within the indictment.
“Given the serious nature of this matter, including the death of Melinda Shinn, and the evidence that will demonstrate that the defendant was in possession of a firearm, and the significant risk of flight as demonstrated by the defendant leaving the jurisdiction of Ohio and being arrested some 60 days later in Indiana ... the state would request the defendant be remanded without bond,” Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fox said during the hearing.
Mercer County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Ingraham granted the request. Attorneys Jeffrey Knapke and David Bruns appeared with Martin during the hearing. The two were asked to appear to determine if they would be willing to represent Martin in the case.
Those attending the hearing — which included members of Shinn’s family — were greeted with heavy security, including a metal detector. Deputies also were stationed throughout the courtroom during the hearing.
Martin was arrested on Wednesday in Fort Wayne, Ind., after being on the run for close to two months following the fatal shooting in Rockford on Nov. 8. Shortly after the shooting, Martin fled and was believed to have been in Fort Wayne, where it was believed he had family. The SUV he was believed to have been driving was recovered in Fort Wayne the following day.
Mercer County deputies, as well as members of the U.S. Marshal’s Service, raided a home and took Martin into custody. He was transferred to the Mercer County Jail on Thursday.
A Mercer County grand jury indicted Martin on the murder count in November. The charge also includes a gun specification. If convicted, Martin faces a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.