Medical examiner’s report reveals new details on January fatal shooting in Bladenboro
BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - A medical examiner’s report reveals new details about the circumstances of the death of Jerry Edward Martin, who was found dead in his home on January 24.
Daniel Gene Autry, James Todd Harrelson, Jessica Lynne Sloan and Tanner Scott Harrelson were arrested and charged with his murder on March 28.
The following information comes from an investigation report signed on Feb. 15 from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services unless stated otherwise.
Martin was 61 years old when he was found dead in his home on The Hadd Road near Bladenboro, N.C. His family described him as independent, living without assistance in day-to-day activities without any known prescription medications.
The family made a welfare check after Martin failed to return phone calls; the last time a family member had spoken to him was at around 6 p.m. on Jan. 23.
When they arrived the next day, they found locked doors with no signs of intrusion. They removed a board from in front of a window that was nailed shut and broke the glass to get inside.
Martin was unresponsive in the hallway, and the family called 911. EMS pronounced him dead at 5:40 p.m. The autopsy from Jan. 30 indicates that a wound first thought to be a cigarette burn turned out to be a gunshot wound with limited external bleeding. Examiners found that it hit his aorta and several other organs, leading to “significant” internal bleeding.
The toxicologic analysis of his postmortem blood didn’t indicate any illicit drugs or alcohol.
Officials found several holes in the walls of the house and suspected that someone may have fired into the house from outside and hit Martin.
The four people charged with his murder also were charged with discharging a weapon into an occupied property and felony conspiracy.
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