A Florida man who two years ago pleaded guilty to the 1996 shooting death of a Jonesville police officer has died in prison, apparently at his own hands.
North Carolina Department of Corrections officials reported late Tuesday that Scott Vincent Sica “was found unresponsive in his cell this morning at Scotland Correctional Institution.” In a written statement released by the department, officials said “Prison medical staff and paramedics were unable to revive him and he was later declared dead, the result of an apparent suicide.”
In March 2014, Sica pleaded guilty in the first degree murder charge of Jonesville Police Sgt. Greg Martin, almost 20 years after killing the officer with six shots to the head from a 9 mm Beretta handgun. The plea was an agreement that avoided the death penalty, resulting in a life sentence without possibility of parole.
Martin was 30 when he was killed, married and with three children. Sica was 20 at the time.
On the night of Oct. 5, 1996, shortly before 3 a.m., Martin stopped a suspicious vehicle on Intestate 77. Sica and two other individuals had been on what authorities at the time called a “multi-state robbing spree,” when Martin saw the red pickup two of them were in, Sica in the passenger seat and Brian Eugene Whittaker driving.
According to police records, Martin called for assistance at 2:43 a.m. Five minutes later N.C. Highway Patrolman E. Vann Tate arrived on the scene and found Martin lying on the ground, suffering from gunshot wounds to the head.
Testimony at the trial indicated that Sica fired the gun nine times — with five bullets striking Martin in the head and a sixth grazing him.
Police were left with few leads on the case and it wasn’t until 2012 when a relative of Marc Peterson Oldroyd, the third man in their crime spree, contacted the FBI after she saw the case profiled on the television show America’s Most Wanted. That tip tied in with work done by police authorities, and led to the arrest of the three men.
In June 0f 2014, Oldroyd was sentenced to 14-17 years in prison, while Whittaker was sentence to 10-12 years.
The Scotland County Sheriff’s Department is investigating Sica’s death, according to department of corrections officials.
John Peters can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org