LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Jefferson County district court judge has doubled the bond for the man accused of killing a woman in Louisville, stuffing parts of her body in luggage and taking them to Illinois last month.
Melvin Martin Jr., 30, was arrested two weeks ago at the Markham Public Library in suburban Chicago after curious family members looked into the bags. They told investigators that Martin seemed preoccupied with since his arrived on a Greyhound bus from Louisville on Sept. 9.
A severed head and other body parts were found in the bags, and police in Kentucky found the woman's torso in a park. A deputy coroner in Louisville identified the victim as Ladawndra Ellington, 31.
The woman was Martin’s girlfriend, and it appeared her death was the result of a domestic dispute that occurred about a month before, Markham police Chief Terry White said at a news conference.
According to court documents, Martin had been living with Ellington at an apartment on Hite Avenue in Clifton, when he killed her sometime between early August and mid-September. Police say Martin admitted that he killed Ellington in Louisville and put parts of her body in a park, before stuffing other parts into bags and traveling to Illinois. Louisville Police confirmed they found part of her remains in Bingham Park on Brownsboro Road.
White said investigators in Illinois interviewed Martin, who "indicated that, as grotesque as it might sound, that he still wanted to be with at least part of her."
Court records indicate several women, including Ellington, had requested protection orders against him. Ellington had requested one earlier this year.
Martin was brought back to Louisville and arraigned Thursday morning on charges of murder, tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse. The county argued for the judge to increase his bond to $1 million. Judge Jennifer Leibson said Martin's extensive criminal history, including domestic violence, warrants a higher bond.
"Given the fact that he does have a history of criminal offenses in Illinois as well as our current charges -- which I think everyone will agree are not something we see everyday -- I do find that he is both a danger to the community and he is a flight risk."
Leibson set bond at $500,000.
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