Country Singer Daniel Lee Martin Dies by Apparent Suicide Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations
Country Singer and reality show host Daniel Lee Martin, who was accused of child abuse multiple times and awaiting trial, has died. He was 54.
Martin was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in his home in Pasco County, Florida, on Friday when officers arrived to serve multiple warrants that had been issued out of Tennessee, a spokesperson for the Pasco County Sheriff’s office tells PEOPLE.
The warrants included three counts of sexual exploitation on a minor, three counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of committing an aggravated sexual battery and one count of solicitation of a minor to commit rape of a child, the sheriff’s office spokesperson says.
“Martin did not respond to attempts to make contact with him,” a statement provided to PEOPLE states. “The PSO SWAT team was called in to assist, as Martin previously made threats of harm against himself and others.”
“When deputies made entry to the residence, they discovered Martin deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” the statement says.
TMZ was the first to report Martin’s death.
Martin was arrested last month on charges of lewd and lascivious exhibition and prohibition of certain acts in connection with obscenity, the Tampa Bay Times reported on January 29.
The arrest came after a victim told police that the singer had exposed himself and began masturbating in front of them, according to an arrest affidavit, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The same victim also said that Martin showed them pornographic images, and that this had happened multiple times when the victim slept over at his house.
Martin was reportedly released within three hours of his arrest on $15,000 bail.
In September 2018, Martin was indicted by a grand jury on similar charges in Tennessee, for incidents with three children ages 9 to 12 that occurred between May 2014 and January 2018, according to court documents, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
He reportedly turned himself in a month later. A trial had been scheduled for March, according to the outlet.
According to AllMusic.com, Martin began his country music career in 1997 and opened for stars like Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels and Vince Gill.
He released albums All That I Am in 2003 and On My Way to You in 2007.
Martin also cohosted a hunting show Brotherhood Outdoors.
If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to http://www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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