By Kathee Baird
September 17, 2015
Justin Dion Tuttle
Justin Dion Tuttle

Joplin, MO.- It took a Jasper County jury about two-and-a-half hours this afternoon to convict a man from Stone County for his part in the 2013 murder of Dan Martin.
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Justin Tuttle, 31, also of Lampe, was found guilty of second-degree murder and armed criminal action for the September 26, 2013, death of Daniel "Dan" Martin.  Tuttle is scheduled to be sentenced on December 3rd in Joplin, where the case was moved on a change of venue.
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I was not in the courtroom for Tuttle's trial this week.  However, I was in the courtroom when Tuttle's co-defendant and girlfriend AnnMarie Patrick pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for her part in Martin's murder earlier this year.  

The following is an unedited news release from Stone County prosecutor Matt Selby:

JUSTIN TUTTLE FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER

A Jasper County jury of eight women and four men found Justin Tuttle guilty of second degree murder and armed criminal action for the 2013 stabbing death of Daniel Martin.  The case was tried by Stone County Prosecutor, Matt Selby, and assistant prosecutor, Brynna Howell.

Daniel Martin’s body was found floating in Table Rock Lake at a local swimming and fishing hole at the end of Jones Trading Post Road on September 29, 2013.  An investigation was begun by the Stone County Sheriff’s office led by detective Orville Choate.  Officers determined that Martin was last seen alive on Thursday, September 26, 2013, Martin’s sister when she observed him around 4:00 that afternoon in his truck along with Tuttle and Annmarie Patrick, Martin’s girlfriend.  About an hour later Tuttle and Patrick were seen in Martin’s truck near Dogwood Canyon but Martin was not with them.

As the investigation continued, witnesses told officers that on the evening of Martin’s death, they noticed that Tuttle had a busted lip and other minor injuries and blood on his clothes.  His response was that he had fallen down a hill.  When asked by friends about Martin’s absence Tuttle responded that Martin had ran off into the woods and was with a friend in Nixa.

An autopsy was conducted and forensic pathologist, Dr. Keith Norton, observed eight deep stabbing type wounds to various parts of Martin’s body, three of which could have been fatal, and determined that the stab wounds caused Martin’s death and that it was a homicide.

Tuttle and Patrick were both charged in connection with Martin’s death.  Patrick pled guilty and was sentenced to fourteen years to manslaughter charges and theft charges for her role in the killing and for taking Martin’s property following his death.

Although there were no witnesses to the actual murder, at trial Selby and Howell presented evidence that Martin had been murdered and had witnesses testify who placed Tuttle and Patrick with Daniel Martin shortly before and after his death, concentrating on the actions of the defendants’ following Martin’s disappearance that the prosecutors characterized as “consciousness of guilt”. 

The defendant took the stand in his own defense and claimed that he acted in self-defense when Martin attacked him accusing him of having sex with his girlfriend, Patrick.  In closing the prosecutors argued that the defendant’s claims were contrary to the physical evidence, particular Martin’s injuries, and again emphasized the defendant’s guilty actions.

The jury deliberated for just over two and a half hours before finding the defendant guilty.  Selby said that he was pleased with the verdict and believed it was a just result.  “The jury was extremely attentive and considered the evidence carefully.”  The prosecutor added that he “really feels for the Martin family.  The defendant kept his silence in the two years since Daniel’s death and the family heard his story in the courtroom for the first time just like the rest of us.  It has been an emotional and difficult time for them and I hope that they can now start to have a little closure.  I also really appreciate the support they have shown us as we have gone through this process.”

Sentencing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 3, 2015, in Joplin.
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The following article is coverage from AnnMarie Patrick's case: 

Patrick Pleads Guilty To Amended Charges In Dan Martin’s Murder:

By Kathee Baird
March 20, 2015

Annmarie Patrick (courtesy SCSO)

Annmarie Patrick (courtesy SCSO)


Galena, Mo.-  The girlfriend of a Lampe man who was murdered in 2013 has pleaded guilty to amended charges of involuntary manslaughter for her part in his death.
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To get to the end of 28 year-old Daniel Martin Jr.’s life you’ve got to go back several months before he was murdered.  His mother, Ginger Martin, testified at Annmarie Patrick’s preliminary hearing that he began dating Patrick in May and they had “an on again off again” relationship.
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It wasn’t a secret that Patrick, now 21, or Dan Martin had an ongoing battle with drug addiction.  In the weeks leading up to his death Martin, “slipped of the wagon.”
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Ginger Martin said she felt like her son was being “set up again” by Patrick and she feared for her his life.  Several weeks before Martin went missing, three men came to the Hawg Trough, the bar the Martin family owns near Lampe, looking for him to settle some kind of score, according to sources.
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“I didn’t trust her,” said Ginger Martin.
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Rachelle Pavelka, Dan Martin’s sister, said the last time she had any contact with her brother was about 4 p.m. on September 26th at the house of the daycare provider they both used.  She said Patrick, and a man she didn’t know, were in her brother’s truck.  “He said he was going to get $20 that someone owed him because he was running out of gas and asked me to take his son to my mom’s house, so I did.”
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But Dan Martin, who had several distinctive tattoos, didn’t call or show up to take little Dan home that night…or the next night…or the night following that.
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“That wasn’t like him at all….I knew something was wrong,” his mom recalled.
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Ginger Martin said after she dropped little Dan off at daycare on September 27th she went to her son’s house to look for him.  She found the front door unlocked and his cell phone on the arm of a couch plugged in.  “I knew something was really wrong because Dan was never without his phone.”
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Dan Martin
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What she found as she scrolled through the messages troubled her.  “You really f****ed up this time,” was one of the messages to Dan from AnnMarie. Frantic, she said she called and texted Patrick and every other contact in her son’s phone.  Only a few texted back.  One of them was Patrick.
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“I don’t know where he is,” said Patrick.  Patrick told the missing man’s mother that he had taken 10 Xanax and disappeared.  Patrick later admitted she had not actually witnessed her boyfriend consume the prescription drug, but she believed he had.
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Ginger Martin said Patrick never asked if anyone had heard from her boyfriend, but she said she and her sister would continue to search for him. Martin’s hopes were raised in the search for her son when she was told that a relative of Dan’s son had seen him on Friday.
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“It was a misunderstanding….she actually said she saw him on Thursday.”
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Earlier in 2013  Dan had moved out of the house he shared with Patrick, but they had gotten back together, Martin testified.  “I was concerned she was setting him up to be jumped….again.”
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Daniel Compton, who had been charged with tampering with physical evidence for allegedly dumping Martin’s truck in Arkansas after he was murdered, testified that he first saw Martin and Patrick about noon on September 26th.  He said he and Justin Tuttle were walking along the road when Martin stopped and offered them a ride.
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Daniel Compton
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Martin gave the men a ride to Nikki Williams’ house where they were dropped off.  Martin and Patrick came back to that house a few times that afternoon, according to Compton. After one of those visits “they came out asked me if I could get some dope.”
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“They kept asking about dope.  AnnMarie wrote down Jones Trading Post Road.  That’s where we were supposed to meet for the deal….I never made it there, I guess,” Compton said.
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According to court documents, Patrick said she, Tuttle and  Martin drove to Table Rock Lake on September 26, 2013.  After arriving at the lake, Tuttle allegedly told Patrick “something was going to happen and not to freak out.”
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Compton said the next time he saw Martin’s truck it was parked on the side of Highway 86 near Dogwood Canyon about 5: 30 p.m. on September 26th and several people were surrounding it as gas was put in the vehicle.
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Justin "Jay" Tuttle (courtesy SCSO)

Justin “Jay” Tuttle (courtesy SCSO)
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Compton said when he got a closer look at Justin Tuttle he was covered in blood and had a split lip and head wounds.  “He said Dan Martin was getting the better of him in a fight so he put a couple of holes in him and sent him ‘fishing’.”
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Patrick didn’t go home on September 26, 2013, according to court testimony.  Instead, she and Justin Tuttle spent the night together at Nikki Williams’ house.  “I took it they was a couple,” said Compton.  “They were all over each other cuddlin’ in the back of the car.”
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“She said Jay was supposed to be treating her better than Dan Martin was and including her in decisions.”  She also told Compton that Martin “had probably run off with some girls from Nixa.”
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Family and friends searched for Dan Martin for three days before a family discovered a body floating in Table Rock Lake at the end of Jones Trading Post Road.
Ginger Martin raced to the scene and begged officers…”Go check for the tattoo’s…..I can’t do that.”
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The mother’s worst fears were realized when authorities confirmed that the body, that had been weighted down with a large boulder, was indeed her son.  It was the Martin tattoo on his back and the tattoo of cards on his neck that sealed the confirmation.
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Dr. Keith Norton, with Southwest Missouri Forensics, conducted the autopsy on Martin.  He said Martin had eight puncture wounds on his body and three small cuts to the tips of the fingers on his left hand.  He also had several wounds to the back of his head and a deep laceration on the side of his face that ran across his nose.
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Norton said the head wounds could have been caused by the 10 pound rock  found inside of Martin’s shirt that had been used to weigh him down.
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Because of the state of decomposition Norton “could not definitively” say which wound caused Martin’s death.
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A few days after Martin’s remains were found, his truck was discovered down a ravine in rural Boone County, Arkansas.  Authorities believe diesel fuel had been dumped all over the vehicle.
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AnnMarie’s attorney, Steve Kellogg, said, that while his client had knowledge of Martin’s murder, she did not actively participate in killing him and did not “cooly deliberate” before the homicide and should not be facing a first-degree murder charge.
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Earlier this month, at a motion hearing, Kellogg told Circuit Judge Jack Goodman that Patrick asked for an attorney three separate times and law enforcers continued to question her.
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Several witnesses took the stand at the March 6th hearing in Goodman’s courtroom.
First on the stand was Stone County sheriff’s deputy Taylor Jenkins.
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Jenkins stated that he and Kimberling City police officer Jody Shepard went to the home of Patrick’s mother, Lori Gutendorf, between 2 – 3 a.m. on September 30th looking for Patrick, who was asleep in the basement.
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Jenkins asked Patrick where she’d been and she stated “in Branson for a few days.”  She told law enforcers that her mom picked her up “on the square in Blue Eye.”  When asked if  the clothes she was wearing had been worn all weekend, she stated her other clothes and purse were in her mother’s vehicle.
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Patrick, who took the stand at the suppression hearing, says when Jenkins left to collect those items she invoked her right to an attorney to Shepard.  Jenkins says she never did.-
“My mom said they would probably be coming and that I’m an adult and have to ask for an attorney myself,” Patrick testified.
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Gutendorf said that she told Shepard that “Marie” wanted an attorney.  “He said she needs to ask…..she hasn’t even been arrested.”  Gutendorf said when she and her daughter both told the officer that Marie wanted an attorney he said, “Why do you want an attorney? That’s just going to make you look guilty.”

Stone County Prosecutor Matt Selby

Stone County Prosecutor Matt Selby
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When Stone County prosecutor Matt Selby began questioning Patrick about her drug use in the 12 hours leading up to Martin’s murder, she said she had not used any illegal drugs.  At that point, Kellogg told her not to answer any further questions that had nothing to do with her request for an attorney.
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At today’s plea hearing, Selby said, “Although we do not have evidence that the defendant was physically responsible for the victim’s death or that she was aware that he was going to actually be killed at the time that he was, she did recklessly engage in a course of conduct that led to him being killed. She was with and acted with Jay Tuttle before, during and after Daniel Martin was killed.”
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It was Dan’s sister, Rachelle, who spoke on behalf of the family just before Patrick was sentenced today.  “Everyday we wake up we have to accept that it will be another day without our sunshine…the light of our lives, which is what Dan was to our family.  Our home was always filled with love and so much laughter, but there isn’t much of that anymore because he was the one who made us laugh the most.”
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With tears streaming down her face she continued.  “I just hope every night you go to sleep you see his face and understand what you have taken from us and you understand what taking little Daniel’s father, who meant the world to him, feels like because almost every night he cries and says how much he misses his daddy and wants him back.  You stole Dan’s life, therefore you should not get anything less, however, that is not up to us.  God will be your final judge and he will give you the maximum punishment you truly deserve.  All we ask you to do now is to hold up your agreement and put Justin Tuttle away for life.”
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Patrick was facing a life sentence for the murder of her boyfriend.  Today, in a “negotiated” plea agreement, she was sentenced to seven years for involuntary manslaughter.  She was also sentenced to seven years for stealing money out of Martin’s pants pocket, and her part in the theft of his truck.
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Those sentences are to be served consecutively (one after the other.)  

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