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Murder trial change of plea hearing is March 15

A change-of-plea hearing scheduled for Friday, March 15, is the latest update in the case of Martin Carl Brown, the defendant accused of the 2012 killing of Valerie Watts.

According to Lake County Circuit Court records, the hearing will be held at 9 a.m. in the courtroom. The hearing was scheduled during a Monday, March 4, status hearing.

Brown was indicted last summer in the murder of Watts on Tuesday, July 31. During his Aug. 2 arraignment, Brown entered a plea of not guilty.

Brown, who had been jailed for violating his probation on a domestic violence conviction, was charged with one count of murder constituting domestic violence, two counts of abuse of a corpse in the second degree, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine and two counts of tampering with physical evidence.

Valerie Annette Watts, aka Valerie Brown, 47, of Lakeview was reported missing to the Lake County Sheriff’s Department by her daughter on June 25. Her body was later found in a utility trailer in a remote area northwest of Lakeview on July 11, and positively identified on July 14.

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