(BLOOMFIELD) - Martin J. "Marty" Walters has served his time for murder and is set to be released from prison Thursday.
Anna Rochelle of the Greene County Daily World reports that Walters, now 50 years old, was sentenced to the Indiana Department of Corrections (DOC) on June 22, 1994 for burglary and murder.
His expected release date was June 2, but when a release date falls on a weekend or a holiday, he DOC releases the inmate on an alternative weekday. In this case, Walters should walk Thursday, May 30.
Walters has been housed in the DOC's Pendleton Correctional Level 1 Facility -- a minimum security section of the Pendleton prison. Although Pendleton houses inmates requiring maximum security behind prison walls, the Level 1 Facility actually sits outside the main walls of the prison.
Walters went to prison for the murder of Robert Gillett at his home in Linton in May 1993. Walters was accused of beating Gillett to death in a burglary. He was convicted of felony murder and burglary in 1994 after he accepted a negotiated plea agreement -- his case never went to trial by jury. He was sentenced to 58 years in prison, 48 for the murder and 10 for the burglary, to be served consecutively.
Walters has long maintained his innocence of the murder. He admits to involvement in the burglary but says he did not kill Gillett.
Three men, Walters and his brothers-in-law, Steve and Mike Baker, allegedly burglarized the Gillett home on a Sunday night, May 23, and there was a physical confrontation between Walters and Gillett. Walters has said Gillett was alive when he left the home.
During an appeal of his case, Walters contended that the Bakers returned to the home on another night and Steve Baker killed Gillett. Walters claimed he was framed, that he was under emotional duress and not thinking intelligently when he agreed to the plea agreement and that he was mentally coerced into signing. He also claimed the Bakers were granted immunity from prosecution.
The case captured the attention of the public and the media -- Walters had been a local businessman and a well-known champion kick-boxer, and the details of the murder were grizzly.
In the years since his incarceration, Walters attempted to get relief, not from the burglary, but from the murder conviction. He served the burglary sentence first and completed that time on June 1, 1998. Then he started serving the sentence for the murder. At one point in the past, Walters told the Greene County Daily World that he had done his time for what he did, the burglary, but then he was doing time for something he did not do.
At this point, Walters has served his time -- completed the sentences as required by law. In the DOC, inmates can shave time off their sentences with good behavior and by participating in rehabilitation and other programs. Walters has been busy during his incarceration -- he's taken advantage of almost every opportunity offered to reduce his time behind bars. Instead of 58 years as sentenced, when Walters is released next week, he will have served 19.
Last fall, Senior Investigative Reporter Bob Segall of WTHR Channel 13 in Indianapolis investigated the early release of violent criminals from Indiana prisons. His findings were aired in a special segment, "13 Investigates: Violent criminals released too soon?"
Marty Walters was one of the inmates he interviewed.
The investigative piece is available to read online at http://www.wthr.com/story/19919959/viole
Walters is interviewed toward the end of a video "Violent criminals released too soon?" posted with the same story.
During the interview, Walters is quoted, "I completed anger management, stress management, parenting classes. I've received a bachelor's degree in general studies with a minor in communications and business information technology, another bachelor's degree from the theological seminary, and I have my barber's license. I've taken over 900 correspondence courses. You do a lot to show you did more than sit in a cell and do nothing."
Walters said while he's been in prison, he's tried to better himself at every turn.
Following his release on Thursday, Walters will have 72 hours to check in with the Greene County Probation Office.
Greene County's Chief Probation Officer Mike Pate said Thursday, according to the information he's received from DOC, Walters will be on probation for 12 years.
While he's on probation, Walters will be required to fulfill terms and conditions similar to everyone else serving probation -- don't commit a crime, report in to the probation office as required, submit changes in address and employment in a timely fashion, not leave the state, maintain a job or be actively pursuing employment, and be able to support oneself.
Walters is also scheduled to be back in court for a hearing -- he's filed a motion to reduce the fines and court costs he was ordered to pay as part of his sentence. That hearing is scheduled in Greene Superior Court on June 7.
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