GUILTY: Martin murdered father for $2.5m life insurance
MICHAEL Phillip Martin is guilty of the brutal murder of his father in the early hours of June 13, 2014, in a savage pre-planned attack in a bid to cash in on life insurance policies worth $2.5 million.
After almost five days of deliberations the 12-member jury returned its verdict just before 3pm today.
An impassive Martin closed his eyes and hung his head as the verdict was read out solemnly by the jury's foreperson.
The jury also found Martin guilty of the attempted murder of his father and the grievous bodily harm with intent to his father's friend and flatmate Edmund Manning during an earlier home invasion on the night of April 6-7.
The damning verdict exposes the web of lies Martin told police and the public about what happened on the bloody night of June 13, when his father was slashed and stabbed to death in his South Murwillumbah unit.
Michael jnr, who was staying in the Quarry Rd unit that night under the pretense of helping his father move out, told police he was woken by a whack to the forehead after 3am and dragged into the kitchen, where he was bound and gagged with cloth tape, and told "shut up or you die".
He told of hearing a "gurgling sound" of what he believed was his father having his throat cut.
He was found just after 5am in the morning at the foot of the unit's external stairs, bound in cloth tape - the very tape he had bought the day before at a Bunnings in Ipswich.
The verdict means the jury accepts the Crown case that Martin's now infamous letter to his wife was a confession to the murder, and not the "therapy" which he said it was.
The Dearest Candace letter was penned in Febuary or March 2015, several months after the murder, as a bittersweet reflection on the failure of the couple's relationship - the collapse of which was sparked by a "bright idea" to kill Martin's abusive father for life insurance.
In the letter, Martin wrote about his guilt over letting his "animal side" take over and committing the "unthinkable".
"I feel so guilty... for the way I let myself lose control.... the animal side got the better of me."
He wrote that he "had a choice that night" and "I carried through with my plan".
The slicing and stabbing injuries inflicted on the man known as "Mullet Mick" were also consistent with the use of a samurai sword - which Michael jnr was trained in.
And a little more than a month after the murder, he made a claim on one of three life insurance policies taken out secretly in his father's name.
But the claim only served to heighten police's doubts about Martin's story.
Eventually they arrested Martin on March 14, 2015, about two weeks after he fronted the media to appeal for assistance finding his dad's killers.
The Northern Star can now reveal that Martin's wife Candace Martin has pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after the fact, and grievous bodily harm with intent to murder.
Ms Martin's sentencing hearing commenced yesterday yin the Supreme Court in Lismore and continues today.