By Wendy Byerly Wood
March 28, 2014
The community received some closure Tuesday in the case of fallen Jonesville Police Sgt. Greg Martin, who was killed in the line of duty almost 18 years ago on the side of Interstate 77.
For 16 years, Martin’s killer eluded police, with few leads giving clues to who was responsible for the shooting. But a break in the case lead to charges against three Florida men, and one of those has now pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Each year on the anniversary of Martin’s death, community members, law enforcement officials and others have gathered to ride the route of Martin’s last night on duty as a way to remember his service to the community and the sacrifice he made.
With Scott Vincent Sica, who prosecutors claim was the shooter that October night in 1996, now behind bars with a life sentence and no chance for parole, community members can feel a sense of closure knowing that he can never hurt another person like he did Martin.
And more importantly, Martin’s family, which includes his daughter Brittany, now in her 20s, but who was 6 when she lost her father, has some closure. In reading a letter in court from Brittany, Yadkin County District Attorney Tom Horner relayed that Brittany will not have the privilege of having her father walk her down the aisle when she gets married. She was robbed of her time with her father due to the actions of Sica and the alleged actions of two others charged in his murder, Marc Peterson Oldroyd and Brian Eugene Whittaker.
While his defense lawyers remain steady that Sica was not the shooter, they said in court he pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty that would have been on the table if the case had gone to trial.
In any case, we are glad the family, the law enforcement officers and the community who were affected by the Oct. 5, 1996, death of Martin have justice and some closure. It was a long time in coming, and there are two more suspects who will have their day in court, so the story doesn’t end here.