NEW PORT RICHEY — A country singer who faces child sex abuse charges in Pasco County and Tennessee was found dead of an apparent suicide Friday afternoon, deputies said.
A SWAT team found Daniel Lee Martin, 54, who was a country singer and former television personality, at a home at the intersection of Little Road and Pennant Court, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Martin was arrested Jan. 27 in Pasco on charges of lewd and lascivious exhibition and prohibition of certain acts in connection with obscenity. A young girl told detectives that Martin exposed himself, performed a lewd act in her presence and showed her pornography while she spent the night at his New Port Richey home in November, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He was freed after posting bail.
He also faced charges in Williamson County, Tenn., where a grand jury indicted him in 2018 on three counts of soliciting the sexual exploitation of a minor, three counts of aggravated sexual battery, three counts of soliciting to commit aggravated sexual battery, two counts of indecent exposure and solicitation to commit the rape of a child, according to the Tennessean.
The newspaper reported that Martin was accused of assaulting three children under the age of 13 from May 2014 through January 2018. He turned himself in on Oct. 10, 2018 and his trial was scheduled for next month.
Pasco deputies repeatedly tried to contact Martin about active Tennessee arrest warrants on similar charges, the agency said. Then at about 3:20 p.m., a Pasco sheriff’s SWAT team entered the home to take Martin into custody. He had made threats to harm himself and others, the Sheriff’s Office reported.
He was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, deputies said.
TMZ first reported the death.
To report child abuse in Florida, visit www.myflfamilies.com or call 1-800-962-2873.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, reach out to the 24–hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255; contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741; or chat with someone online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org. The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay can be reached by dialing 211 or by visiting crisiscenter.com.