Man Arrested For 2001 Metz Area Murder Thanks To Recordings
Thursday May 15, 2014 7:37am
By: Jim Measel
(ANGOLA) - A Butler man has been charged with a murder that took place almost 13 years ago thanks to the use of taped recordings. 49-year-old Mark M. Fritz was arrested following an investigation into the death of 70-year-old Samuel Hunter who was murdered and robbed in his home back in June of 2001. The case will go through Steuben Superior Court where a pre-trial conference has been scheduled for June 23rd and a jury trial is tentatively set for August 28th. A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of the defendant during his initial hearing on Thursday in front of Magistrate Randy Coffey who ordered Fritz held without bond. Indiana State Police Detective Kevin Smith, who was one of the investigators, testified during the hearing to help determine probable cause.
According to Steuben County court documents, Hunter was murdered with a knife at his home at 8045 East 207 South. His daughter found him lying by the stairs with blood on the floor. Investigators for the Indiana State Police and the Steuben County Sheriffs Department found several long guns, a safe, a handgun and some coins were missing from the home. Police got a break in the cold case in December of 2013 when a former sister-in-law of the suspect was arrested in Williams County on drug charges. She had a house next to the murder victim. The woman was not living there at the time of the killing but Fritz and several others were. She later said in a police interview that she thought Fritz was involved in the crime because he would get violent when drunk and would do anything for alcohol.
Another break for investigators came in April when the woman said Fritz threatened the boyfriend of her daughter and mentioned he had killed a man. Court documents indicate that led police to record two conversations involving the woman and Fritz in which he supposedly admitted his crime. Undercover officers were brought into the investigation by the time the final recording was made in late April. Police got a murder warrant to arrest Fritz on Wednesday.
Mug shot of Mark Fritz who was booked at the Steuben County Jail on Thursday on a 2001 murder warrant. Photo courtesy of the Steuben County Sheriffs Department.