Oklahoma City murder suspect denies ever being in woman's house

Paula Martin was found bound. The suspect says he's never been in her house even though Oklahoma City police say they found him in her living room.
BY TIM WILLERT twillert@opubco.com Published: September 10, 2011

The man jailed in connection with his neighbor's death claims he has never set foot in her home, even though police arrested him after he crashed through her living room ceiling.

Dartangan Cotton, 20, was arrested on a murder complaint in the strangling death of Paula Martin, 56. He told police during questioning that “he didn't kill anybody and he has never been inside Martin's house.”

Martin's body was found after neighbors saw a man backing her car out of her driveway about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday at 524 SW 48. Police said Cotton lived two doors down from Martin but don't think they knew each other.

Martin was found inside a bedroom with her hands bound behind her back, police reported. She died from traumatic asphyxiation, a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner's office said.

Officers found Cotton inside the house when he fell from the attic through the living room ceiling, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Multiple witnesses told police they saw a black male exit Martin's car and enter her garage, and one observed a window screen on the ground and a storm window missing screws.

Cotton told police he was on the telephone the night Martin was killed when he heard sirens outside. He said when he walked outside he was pointed out to police and arrested.

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