A Cape Coral man accused in the 1996 shooting death of a North Carolina police officer is claiming he is innocent and even cooperated with police.
Scott Vincent Sica, 36, of 2059 Ottersrest Lane, is being held at the Lee County Jail for first-degree murder in death of Sgt. Gregory Keith Martin, of the Jonesville Police Department. He is to be extradited to North Carolina.
"He has a lot of friends and family - he wants them to know that he's not the monster that they've depicted him to be," attorney Stu Pepper, who was hired by Sica's family to serve as counsel until his extradition, said Tuesday.
"He doesn't know why he's been arrested," he said, adding that Sica stated he is innocent. "He doesn't know the evidence that links him to this crime."
According to Pepper, authorities approached his client the day before his arrest and asked that he provide samples of his DNA and fingerprints.
"They already had his DNA and fingerprints on file for years," he said.
In 1999, Sica was sentenced in the Middle District of Tennessee to 57 months in federal prison for armed bank robbery and 60 months for carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence - 117 months consecutively.
He also pled guilty to a second count of armed bank robbery regarding an incident in Lee County. Sica again received 57 months in federal prison for the conviction, but the sentence ran concurrent with the Tennessee one.
He was released in August 2006, followed by five years supervision.
"Why didn't they connect this years ago?" Pepper asked.
Sica cooperated with authorities and submitted the samples.
"They told him what it was in connection to, and he had no problem with that," Pepper said. "They let him go and he went home that night."
Armed authorities were then banging down his front door.
"He could have fled," he said of if Sica was guilty. "He didn't leave town."
According to Pepper, Sica does not discount or deny his prior charges. He pled guilty to the charges and served the time handed down for each.
"He said, 'I'll do time for something I did, but I'm not going to do time for something I didn't do,' referring to this case," he said.
Sica expects he will be extradited in the next couple of days.
"They wanted to take him up there ASAP," Pepper said. "Once he's transported to North Carolina, it's out of my hands."
Asked how his client was Tuesday, Pepper said he is holding up.
"He's very calm, very together," he said. "He's an amicable man. He's still the same amicable, good natured man that they know."
Once Sica reaches North Carolina, Pepper expects a grand jury will be formed and an indictment sought. He noted that there is always two sides to a story.
"Hopefully this will go to a jury and the truth will come out, one way or another," Pepper said. "Hopefully, the true murderer is caught and captured and prosecuted."
At 2:42 a.m., Oct. 5, 1996, Martin conducted a traffic stop on a red, Dodge Ram pickup truck on Interstate 77 in Yadkin County, according to authorities. He was shot multiple times and left for dead on the shoulder of the highway.
The shooter reportedly later stole a van from a parking lot, located about five miles from the crime scene. It belonged to a company called Lucia.
Martin, 30, had been with the department for three years.
In May 2005, the well-know television show "America's Most Wanted" spotlighted the case. It re-aired the story two times the following year.
According to the show's Web site, the Dodge truck had been stolen from a car dealership in Princeton, W.V. Witnesses reported that a man was looking at the truck on Oct. 1, 1996, days before its theft and the fatal shooting.
Composite drawings were created based on witness statements.
On Wednesday, Sica was arrested on a warrant for murder.
The Jonesville Police Department reported that it is not releasing details in an effort to protect the integrity of the case, according to the Yadkin Ripple. Officials did say additional evidence is being processed to further the case.