• 73°

Florida jail escapee found in Rockwell home


Casey Brandon Martina

By Shavonne Walker


ROCKWELL — A man who had escaped from a Florida jail was found with three other men in a Rockwell mobile home, according to Rowan County authorities.

After receiving an anonymous tip, officers went to the home and found the man sleeping on a couch.

Casey Brandon Martina, 25, along with two other men, escaped from the Wakulla County, Florida, jail. Florida authorities have said that Martina — along with Joel Cooper, 43, and Donald Cotterman, 44 — fled through the ceiling in the jail’s law library and jumped from the roof of the building.

Rowan County authorities received a tip about 1 a.m. Tuesday from an anonymous caller saying he had information that an escapee from Florida was at a home in Rockwell. Officers devised a plan to surround the house at 140 Austin St. and found Martina asleep.

Authorities say he gave up without any problem.

Deputies also found a 1999 Jeep Cherokee that authorities say was stolen from Franklin, Virginia. Inside the sport utility vehicle were multiple types of ammunition, including some for a .22 caliber rifle. No weapons were found in the vehicle or on Martina.

There were also multiple toolboxes and cut locks in the vehicle.

According to Capt. John Sifford, there is no indication that the other two escapees are in the area.

Martina was charged with felony escape from jail or prison and felony possession of a stolen vehicle. He remains in the Rowan County jail under a $250,000 secured bond.

Sifford thanked the anonymous caller for providing the tip because, he said, otherwise authorities would not have known Martina was in Rowan County.

Rowan officials say they are not sure if Martina has a connection to Rockwell or Rowan County.

Florida authorities will extradite Martina back to that state.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.



‘Nudge from God’: 10 years after diagnosis, Rockwell man to receive kidney from live donor


Salisbury police warn residents after increased trailer thefts


Elon heightens alert as 32 test positive; Wake Forest in good shape to continue instruction as is


Corn picker catches fire at Knox Farm, destroying nearly eight acres


House easily passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown


Supreme Court vacancy looms large in 2nd NC Senate debate


Additional COVID-19 death reported in Rowan; Cooper announces small business relief


Asheville man charged with heroin possession following traffic checkpoint


Susan Cox conceding school board race, putting support behind opponent


Rowan-Salisbury Schools will survey families, stakeholders about next superintendent


Library to reopen for in-person visits Oct. 1


Rowan Sheriff’s Office K-9s to receive bulletproof vests


Man charged with sex offense, raping teen


Commissioners receive analysis of county’s development application process


Man arrested in Spencer in connection with Charlotte murder investigation


County government losing assistant manager, social services director


RSS will collect information on full K-5 return


KCS sees smooth transition back to classes, unlikely to transition to all in-person for K-5


Barrett emerges as court favorite; Trump to pick by weekend


Tillis says Trump will extend offshore drilling pause to NC


12% of all Rowan COVID-19 cases currently active


Blotter: Concord man faces drug charges after hotel disturbance call


Rockwell teen charged with rape of a 14-year-old girl


Police: Charlotte man caught stealing funeral home employee’s truck