LAURINBURG — Inmate Scott Sica, who was serving a life sentence for the murder of Jonesville Police Sgt. Greg Martin, was found unresponsive in his cell Tuesday morning at Scotland Correctional Institution, according to a release from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
Prison medical staff and paramedics were unable to revive Sica and he was later declared dead, the result of an apparent suicide. The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death.
Sica, 40, was serving a life sentence after pleading guilty in 2014 to the 1996 murder of Martin. The shooting death happened during a traffic stop on Interstate 77.
In March of 2014, 18 years after Martin’s death, Sica was brought before a judge and jury in Yadkin County Supreme Court to face charges. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Martin was killed on Oct. 5, 1996, after pulling over a red Dodge pickup truck on Interstate 77 just outside of Jonesville. Sica was arrested in October 2012 along with two other men, Marc Peterson Oldroyd and Brian Eugene Whittaker, who also faced charges in Yadkin County Superior Court in the case.
During the proceedings, Jonesville PD Detective Ron Perry, formerly of the State Bureau of Investigation, testified about the details of the 18-year-long investigation that concluded with the arrest of the three suspects, Sica, Oldroyd and Whittaker. Perry worked on the case while serving with the SBI, and upon his retirement from the SBI, Perry was asked to join the Jonesville Police Department as a detective, with his primary responsibility to be the continued investigation of Martin’s death.
Perry’s testimony detailed the story of three Florida men who robbed a bank and a Home Depot in Florida and then set out across the country, quickly running through their stolen cash by purchasing dirt bikes and a utility trailer. When the money ran out, the three men headed to North Carolina where a family member of Oldroyd’s, who worked at Belmont Abby College, offered them a free place to stay. Still low on funds, another robbery was planned and that was what brought the trio to Jonesville on Oct. 5 and ended with the murder of Martin.
Vincent Rable, one of Sica’s lawyers, also read a letter from Sica’s parents, who were not present in courtroom. The letter portrayed Sica at the time of the shooting as a child who had made a mistake. Sica was 21 at the time of the shooting. Upon returning home from a 10-year stint in prison for robbery, the letter described the then 31-year-old Sica as “a builder, a healer, a doer” who “made you see the beauty around you.” Sica’s parents expressed sorrow for the Martin family on the loss of Greg Martin and said now it was their time for sorrow. Additional letters from Sica’s friends in Florida described a kindly and charitable man who fished and shared his catch with neighbors and friends.
Sica was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus additional time for the robbery charge. If the case had gone to trial, Sica could have faced the death penalty.