Tarrant Resident Murdered Before Fire

Contact: John S. Robison, State Fire Marshal
(334) 241-4166


Monday November 22, 1999, 88 year old Oytt Conway Breland was found dead inside his burning home in Tarrant. Today, city and state investigators charged a Quinton, AL resident with murder first degree in the death of Mr. Breland.

At 4:50 PM November 22nd, the Tarrant Fire Department responded to a call at #6 First Street, at which time they discovered Mr. Breland inside the burning house. The body was subsequently turned over to the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office where an autopsy revealed Mr. Breland was dead prior to the fire.

Investigators from the Tarrant Police Department and the State Fire Marshals Office identified a suspect during the investigation. Late Tuesday afternoon, Jeffrey Lee Martin, approximately 30 years of age, was taken into custody by the State Fire Marshals Office at his home in Quinton, AL. Wednesday night Martin was formerly charged with murder first degree and may face additional charges at a later date.