Convicted murderer Brian Martin was sentenced to 40 years in prison in Clay Circuit Court, Thursday, for the murder of Clay County resident, Jack Farris, on June 18, 1985. Martin was escorted into the courtroom by State Police Officers and appeared with his court appointed attorney Lee Reberger.
The short, slight built, handcuffed defendant, who has about a year and a half left to serve on another murder conviction, in Vigo County on May 21, 1985, appeared unmoved and perhaps a little insolent as he listened to Judge Ernest Yelton render the sentence.
When Yelton asked Martin if he wished to make a statement, to the apparent surprise of his attorney, Martin answered yes.
"I only took the 40 years cause I want to see the streets again but in no way do I accept responsibility for Mr. Farris's death," he said.
Yelton asked Martin if he had been a heavy chain smoker during the time frame of the murder. Martin said no.
The evidence that was instrumental in Martin's conviction was DNA testing by Indiana State Police Sgt. Andy Lohrman which was done on cigarette butts initially found at the crime scene. A Sgt. Mike Goldner had the foresight, 19 years ago, to preserve that evidence. Lohrman said one of the cigarettes had matched the victim and the suspect.
Indiana State Police Det. Troy Stanton said that Martin had indicated that if he were free, he would kill again.
Martin had been incarcerated for 102 days pending disposition of his case. He will receive credit for time served, together with good time credit, if earned. The Court ordered that the sentence run concurrently with the remainder of his sentence imposed in Vigo County. Martin was fined $1 and costs of the action.
Upon motion of the State of Indiana, Count 2, Voluntary Manslaughter, was ordered dismissed. The Court recommended to the DOC that the defendant be committed to the Indiana State Prison at Michigan City, Ind.
None of Jack Farris's family were present at the sentencing. However, Prosecuting Attorney David Thomas said that a daughter, Pam Porelli, who lives in California, gave full authority to accept the plea bargain.
As Martin was escorted from the courtroom, he repeatedly spit at reporters who attempted to photograph him as he walked to the waiting police car outside.