Country singer Daniel Lee Martin found dead by police serving warrant for child sex charges

Brett Kelman, The Tennessean

A Nashville-area country singer who was awaiting trial on child sex charges has killed himself after an arrest on similar allegations in Florida and a failure to go to court prompted a new warrant that would have dragged him back to Tennessee.

Daniel Lee Martin, 54, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot at a home in New Port Richey, Florida, on Friday afternoon, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Pasco deputies discovered Martin's suicide while attempting to serve him the Tennessee warrant, according to a statement from the sheriff's office. Deputies tried to contact Martin, but after he did not respond, a SWAT team entered the home and found his body.

Williamson County District Attorney Kim Helper says Martin was supposed to show up for a court hearing in his sex crimes case on Friday morning. The hearing had been called to discuss revoking Martin's pre-trial release in light of a recent arrest in Florida.

Daniel Lee Martin played on the Riverfront Stages at CMA Music Festival in Nashville on June 10, 2004.

“He did not appear,” Helper says “And we knew he was in Florida, so we notified the authorities in Pasco County that we had a new warrant for him to be picked up.”

Martin was seen alive by his mother at about 12:30 p.m. – after the court hearing but before deputies arrived at his home – says Benecia Holder, a spokeswoman for the Pasco Sheriff's Office.

Martin was indicted on child sex crimes in Williamson County in 2018. Court records filed at the time alleged he committed crimes against three victims under the age of 13 between May 2014 and January 2018.

At some point after his 2018 arrest, Martin appears to have moved to Florida, where he was re-arrested for similar crimes last month.

In that case, court documents allege Martin exposed himself to a young girl, showed her pornography and performed a lewd act in her presence. Martin was arrested on Jan. 27 and freed the next day after posting bail, jail records show.

Daniel Lee Martin turned himself into Spring Hill Police after a Williamson County grand jury indicted him in connection with a sexual exploitation of a minor case.

Martin has been a minor entertainment figure for some time. Several online biographies say Martin left an advertising career in the late 1990s to move to the Nashville area and focus on music.

He performed at CMA Music Festival in 2004 and participated in a celebrity hunting and fishing competition at the event in 2009. In 2006, The Tennessean described Martin as a rising star who opened for musicians like Vince Gill and Willie Nelson. Martin released albums "All That I Am" in 2003 and "On My Way to You" in 2007, according to his artist profile on Spotify.

Martin had also hosted three television shows: "Brotherhood Outdoors" and "Backstage and Backroads," both on the Sportsman Channel, and "'Till Death Do Us Part" on CarbonTV.

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online.

This article originally appeared on The Tennessean: Daniel Lee Martin: Country singer found dead after child sex charges