|Who, age||What||Where||When||Last Known Address|
|David Clark Elliot, 11(1)||Tied a dog to a tree with a chain, cut her to pieces with a weedwhacker||
|August 14, 1997|
|Frederick Martin, IV, 13(2)||Tied a dog to a tree with a chain, cut her to pieces with a weedwhacker||
|August 14, 1997|
|Frederick Martin, III, 36(3)||contempt of court for stating under oath son had never been in trouble before||
|August 14, 1997|
|Janet L. Martin, 33(3)||contempt of court for stating under oath son had never been in trouble before||
|August 14, 1997|
|Type of Crime||Other Crimes||#/Type of animal(s) involved||Case Status||Next Court Date /Courthouse|
(2)wanted in NH for killing a sheep & 4 pigs
|a 2-year-old cocker spaniel/poodle mix||
(1) Convicted, pled down to a misdemeanor
(2)Found incompetent to stand trial
(3)Found in contempt of court
At age 11
After Elliot's arrest, a felony charge of tampering with a witness was added based on allegations that he threatened Linda Black's daughter, Desra, for talking to the police. Elliot also made threats of killing Blacks cat.
Linda Black was the owner of the dog whose name was Zoey. Black said her 12-year-old daughter, 16-year-old son and 20-year-old son have been traumatized by the dog's death.
Black said she was horrified when she found out the dog's tail and paws were cut off and its neck slashed by the gas-powered lawn tool. "I just can't fathom it, and neither can most people," said Black, who has lived in her double-wide mobile home with her 3 children since May. "To dismember a dog with a Weedwhacker is just out and out cruelty."
Black said she won't replace the 18-pound white dog she raised from birth, Zoey wouldn't have hurt anyone, and probably would have licked a burglar entering her house. "That they killed her, I can live with that. But how they killed her, that makes me sick."
Daughter Desra, goes to the same school as Elliot and Martin.
Attorneys agreed to the plea after Polk Circuit
Judge Daniel True Andrews revealed in court that Martin had a juvenile record
in NH for mutilating a sheep and 4 pigs and his parents had outstanding warrants
for not bring him to court.
Martin's parents, Janet and Frederick Martin, III, entered written not guilty pleas to charged they perjured themselves in court. They have been charged with contempt. A videotape of young Martin's plea hearing showed his parents coaching him to answer, "No" when Judge Andrews asked if he had a juvenile record. The parents also face contempt charges in Polk County for failing to tell the judge about their son's prior criminal problems in NH. Judge Andrews has since removed himself from the case because he might be a witness against the Martins.
Each boy faced a maximum sentence of 5 years in a juvenile facility.
High-profile defense attorney Jack Edmund represented Martin, IV for free after the case against his co-defendant (David Clark Elliot) was reduced to misdemeanor charges in exchange for no-contest pleas. Edmund wanted to defend the boy because he believes Martin was treated unfairly. "When a child with an IQ of 57 enters a guilty plea, there is something wrong," He will ask the court for a continuance and try to set aside that guilty plea.
"Prior to Martin's arrest, Elliot stabbed at his neck with a fork because he had talked to the police," Hileman told Judge Andrews. "Since he has been at the center, he has been struck by Elliot and threatened." Martin stood at the podium and cried as Hileman explained his fear of Elliot to Andrews.
Elliot is also being investigated on charges of arson for setting numerous fires within the mobile home park where he and Martin live.
Elliot has undergone psycho-analysis for 7 years, his mother, Virginia Elliot, told Judge Andrews.
Martin's lawyer, Byron Hileman, asked Judge Andrews to release the boy to his parents because Elliot had assaulted and threatened him.
Judge Andrews denied the release request, but did take action. "I want these boys separated," Andrews told juvenile center representatives. "I want Martin placed in isolation and I want daily reports on whether he is being threatened.
The Martins have been convicted of contempt of court for lying about their son's prior charges of cruelty to animals.
Frederick Martin III, 36, was sentenced to five months in jail. Janet Martin, 33, will be sentenced this summer after she answers charges in Ossipee, NH
On 3 occasions the Martins were asked whether their son had been in trouble before. They said he hadn't, according to testimony presented by Assistant State Attorney Brad Copley.
In September, they shook their heads no when answering Circuit Judge Daniel True Andrews about whether the boy had been in trouble before.
There was testimony the couple had been asked the same questions by Lakeland Police Detective Sharon Olender and by the boy's attorney, Bryan Hileman of Winter Haven with similar results.
Elliot plead to a lesser misdemeanor animal cruelty charge and was sentenced October 22, 1997 to 2 years house arrest and mental health counseling.
Martin, IV was found incompetent to stand trial. His case is on hold.
The Martins defense attorneys argued that the judge's questions to Janet and Frederick Martin about whether their son ever had been "in trouble" before were not specific enough.
But Circuit Judge Dennis P. Maloney held "both
parents deliberately misled" court officials. "You still don't seem
to understand the necessity of telling the truth in court," Judge Maloney
|St. Petersburg Times||The Tampa Tribune|
|The Manchester Union Leader||The Ledger|