May 24, 2013
CELINA — A Mercer County man pleaded guilty Friday to the murder of a Rockford woman.
Daniel C. Martin, 40, pleaded guilty to murder with a firearm specification in the Nov. 8 death of Melinda S. Shinn, according to a press release from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
Martin faces 15 years to life for the murder offense with an additional three years for the weapon specification. He will be sentenced at 9 a.m. June 27 in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
“The Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has no further comment at this time,” Mercer County Prosecutor Matthew K. Fox said in a press release.
Shinn, 26, was shot and killed inside the home she and Martin shared at 509 North St., Rockford, while her 9-year-old son was inside the home. Martin reportedly was Shinn’s live-in boyfriend and ran from the house following the shooting. The incident frightened those in the small, normally quiet Rockford community.
Rockford Police Chief Paul May previously said it was the first homicide he’s aware of inside the village’s limits. It was Mercer County’s only homicide in 2012.
Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey originally said Martin and Shinn had been in several arguments the night before and day of the shooting, based on comments outside the home and text messages from Shinn to people she knew.
Martin quickly became a suspect in Shinn’s death. It took authorities, including the U.S Marshals, nearly two months to track him to a home in Fort Wayne, Ind. He was taken into custody without putting up a fight.