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Trial underway in 1998 Clearwater County murder case

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- A jury trial for a 1998 murder in Clearwater County is underway in Beltrami County.

Troy Martin, 41, of Bagley, will be tried for his alleged role in the death of his sister 15 years ago.

Martin faces a second-degree unintentional murder charge. Martin and his brother Todd, 38, were accused of restraining and strangling their sister, Leisa Martin, 31, on Oct. 28, 1998, in their rural Bagley home. Her body was found three days later near Roy Lake in Mahnomen County.

Todd Martin confessed his part in the crime to a deputy after being arrested for DWI and assault against a peace officer in 2010. He also pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aiding an offender in January 2012 but has not been sentenced, according to Bemidji Pioneer archives.

A gag order preventing the prosecuting attorney and attorney general from speaking to the media has been issued, according to Clearwater County court administration, although the case will be tried in Beltrami County.

Martin’s attorney, John Undem, and the state’s attorney, Eric Schieferdecker, were unavailable for comment.

Second-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment. Martin’s jury trial is expected to continue today in Bemidji.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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