Ohio Supreme Court upholds death sentence for Warren man

The Ohio Supreme Court has affirmed the death sentence of a Warren man convicted of kidnapping, robbing, and killing an acquaintance in 2012.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Supreme Court has affirmed the death sentence of a Warren man convicted of kidnapping, robbing and killing an acquaintance in 2012.

The Supreme Court voted unanimously David Martin’s convictions for the murder of Jeremy Cole and the attempted murder of Melissa “Missy” Putnam at Putnam’s home. The Court ruled 6-1 to uphold Martin’s death sentence, with Justice William M. O’Neill stating his long-standing opposition to the death penalty.

Police said Putman, a small-scale marijuana dealer, had known Martin for a few months when she sold him some marijuana at her house. She then invited him over to smoke with her and Cole the next day.

Investigators said at some point, Cole said something that offended Martin. Martin then ordered Cole to lie on the floor, and he robbed Putnam and Cole while they were tied up.

Martin then shot both Putnam and Cole, leaving the house, burning his clothes and showering.

Putnam, who survived, climbed out of a window and called 911, identifying Martin as the shooter. Cole died at the hospital.

Martin argued that his rights were violated by an illegal search and seizure of a Tallmadge apartment where he was found. He said while there was an arrest warrant, there was no warrant to search the apartment.

The Court found that to challenge the arrest at Fleetwood’s home without a warrant, Martin had to show he had some “legitimate expectation of privacy” while there. It found there was no evidence that Martin had an expectation because, at the trial court suppression hearing, neither Martin nor Fleetwood submitted any evidence that Martin was a guest at Fleetwood’s home.

“His presence in the apartment was ‘totally unexplained,’” the opinion stated.

Without an expectation of privacy, the Court affirmed the trial court’s decision not to suppress the arrest, which led to the discovery of the murder weapon.

Martin also argued that his incriminating statements to law enforcement should be suppressed because he was not immediately read his Miranda rights when apprehended by Marshals.

The Court said, however, that Miranda does not cover voluntary statements, and Martin made incriminating statements after he was read the Miranda warning as well.