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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.



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