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Slain woman was from Mt. Lebanon

Tribune-Review
| Tuesday, September 4, 2001 12:00 p.m

Anne Louise Wylie and Scott Thomas Martin were high school sweethearts in Mt. Lebanon who married soon after she graduated in 1976.

The couple moved to Erie County in 1995, but at some point their 24-year marriage went sour and they separated.

Last week, state police say, Scott Martin, 45, grabbed an aluminum baseball bat and beat his estranged wife to death inside a mobile home near Erie.

Anne Martin’s family members in Mt. Lebanon said Monday they didn’t want to talk to reporters other than to say that Anne’s main priority in life had been to care for her two daughters – now in their early 20s – and grandchildren.

At some point, Anne Martin attended classes at Penn State’s Altoona campus in Blair County and later became a certified nurse’s assistant. She worked at Hamot Hospital and the Manchester Presbyterian Home in Erie County. She celebrated her 43rd birthday in June.

After Anne Martin left her husband, she moved to the Shady Acres Trailer Park in Cambridge Springs, Crawford County, where neighbors would see her walking her two small dogs. Friends and family members also said she liked gardening and crafts.

On July 2, she began to date Steve Robert Counts who later told police the couple was inseparable since the day they met.

According to a police affidavit:

Counts told police that shortly before noon on Aug. 27, he drove Anne Martin to the home of her daughter, Joanna L. Martin of Girard, so she could visit with her grandchildren, Carson S. Brown and Avreigh A. Brown. Girard is about 10 miles southwest of Erie.

Counts said Anne Martin planned to go to her estranged husband’s home to discuss the separation. She also was to go to the Erie County Courthouse to visit her probation officer. Authorities have not said why she was on probation.

Residents of the Imperial Point Trailer Park near Girard called state police on Aug. 27 to report suspicious activities at Scott Martin’s mobile home.

One woman said she heard loud banging noises coming from the mobile home and later saw Scott Martin speeding away in his white van, leaving the trailer door wide open.

She said she walked to the open door, called out for the couple, and then looked inside to see broken glass and blood spattered throughout the trailer. A white rag was on the floor, soaked with blood, and it appeared that someone had used a broom to try to sweep up some of the puddles of blood. A bloody aluminum baseball bat was on a kitchen countertop.

The woman talked to two neighbors who both agreed that she should call police.

Before troopers arrived, Scott Martin returned home and explained that he cut his hand and foot and had gone to Joanna Martin’s home for bandages.

State police later told the Erie News Times that troopers who went to Scott Martin’s home saw that he had a large foot laceration that supported his claims that the blood was his own.

Anne Martin failed to show up to meet with her probation officer and on Thursday was reported missing.

Friday afternoon, Scott Martin returned home to find police investigators inside his mobile home.

That evening, Scott Martin was accompanied by an Erie County public defender when he went to the state police barracks for questioning.

Scott Martin told investigators that he and his estranged wife began arguing soon after she arrived at his home at 4 p.m. Aug. 27.

He said the verbal confrontation escalated until he grabbed the baseball bat and began beating her about the head, arms and upper torso. After she died, he wrapped the body in various material, drove it a short distance and buried it in a shallow grave near Elk Creek.

State and local police, FBI agents and a forensic anthropologist from Mercyhurst College spent most of Saturday exhuming Anne Martin’s body

Martin was charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. He was arraigned and jailed without bond to await a preliminary hearing.

Anne Martin, who was born in Philadelphia, is the daughter of Howard E. Wylie Jr. and Evelyn F. Feigley Wylie of Mt. Lebanon.

In addition to her parents, daughter and grandchildren, she is survived by another daughter, Samantha D. Martin of Fairbanks, Alaska; and three brothers, Howard E. Wylie III of Mt. Lebanon, Colin of Houston, Texas, and Douglas of Beaver Falls, Beaver County.

Friends will be received from noon until 1 p.m. Thursday when services will be held at the Laughlin Memorial Chapel Inc., 222 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon.

Burial will be in Girard Cemetery in Girard.

Memorials to benefit her grandchildren’s education fund may be made to the Anne Martin Memorial Fund in care of The Jaworowicz-Edder Funeral Home, 309 Main St. East, Girard, PA 16417.

Michael Hasch can be reached at mhasch@tribweb.com or (412) 320-7820. Staff writer David Conti contributed to this report.

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