Country singer Daniel Lee Martin was found dead of suicide in his Florida home Friday when police tried to serve him a warrant related to child sex abuse charges, authorities said.
Martin, 54, who opened for acts like Willie Nelson and Vice Gill and recorded his last album in 2007, would have been compelled to appear in court in Tennessee, where the charges were filed.
He was free on bail after facing similar charges in Florida. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office had tried to contact him, but he did not respond.
Due to what police said were threats Martin had made to harm himself and others, the sheriff’s office called on its SWAT team, which entered his house in New Port Richey, north of the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. Officers found him dead “from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” a police spokeswoman said.
A Williams County grand jury in Tennessee indicted Martin in 2018 on charges of soliciting the sexual exploitation of a minor, aggravated sexual battery, soliciting to commit aggravated sexual battery, indecent exposure and solicitation to commit the rape of a child, according to the Tennessean.
Martin was accused of assaulting three children under the age of 13 from May 2014 through January 2018. He turned himself in on Oct. 10, 2018 and his trial was scheduled for next month.
How Daniel Lee Martin got to suicide
In the Florida case, Martin was arrested Jan. 27 on charges of lewd and lascivious exhibition and prohibition of certain acts in connection with obscenity.
A young girl reported that Martin exposed himself to her, performed a lewd act in her presence and showed her pornography while she spent the night at his New Port Richey home in November, the sheriff’s office said.
Besides his career as a singer, Martin was a host of the Sportsman Channel shows “Brotherhood Outdoors” and “Backstage and Backroads.”