SEBASTIAN – On Wednesday, Elisha Martin pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the death of Sebastian River High School student Logan Spencer.
In late February, Martin, 18, was arrested as a person of interest after Logan’s body was found in Fellsmere. Three days later, Martin was charged with 1st Degree Murder in the homicide.
Sheriff Deryl Loar called the murder of Spencer, 16, an execution-style killing after Martin lured his victim into the woods in Fellsmere.
Martin was originally charged with first-degree murder, but state prosecutors downgraded that charge on March 15, stating the killing may have demonstrated a “depraved mind regardless of human life,” but it was not premeditated.
Some experts would argue that it was premeditated after Martin picked up Logan and drove him to Fellsmere where he murdered him. Martin blamed Spencer for stealing money and had planned the killing as an act of revenge.
However, by Florida law, only a grand jury can formally file first-degree murder charges. Assistant State Attorney Chris Taylor could not say whether prosecutors are planning to convene a grand jury in Martin’s case.
In court filings, Martin also pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession with intent to sell cannabis over 20 grams. Detectives found over 40 grams of marijuana when they searched his house prior to his arrest. Martin also told investigators that he sells marijuana.