Two more accused in killing

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Charlie “Rico” Martinez is pictured here in the back of a patrol car after his arrest Friday. This photograph was provided by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

Two more people have been charged in connection with the slaying of a 33-year-old nursing home worker from Roane County, authorities said Saturday.

 The new arrests brings the number of men and women accused of playing a role in the killing to four.

Charlie Richard “Rico” Martinez, 23, was charged with first-degree murder for the shooting death of Victor Daniel “Danny” Letner of Rockwood, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

Martinez was taken into custody Friday night at the home of Amanda Blanchard, no age available, on Rifle Range Road in North Knox County. While police didn’t disclose the nature of Blanchard’s involvement in the case, she was arrested along with Martinez and charged with being an accessory after the fact.

A third person who was at Blanchard’s home wasn’t charged.

Martinez was being held with no bond due to a probation violation warrant but a $1 million bond was added for the murder charge. Blanchard’s bond was set at $2,500.

Martinez’s girlfriend and mother were arrested last week for their purported roles in what allegedly began as a robbery that turned into a murder.  Kendra Ivey, 21, has been charged with felony murder while Diana Jeanty, 46, has been charged with being an accessory after the fact and tampering with evidence.

Ivey and Jeanty have preliminary hearings scheduled next week in Knox County General Sessions Court. 

Letner was reported missing early this month. His body was found several days later in rural Knox County, and police said it appeared that he had died from a gunshot wound.

 Letner worked in the field of nursing home care, according to his obituary. He loved to play video games and Pokemon as well as hanging out with his loved ones. He was survived by his parents, a sister and three brothers.

Published February 27, 2021.