79-year-old man accused of murdering wife in Otter Tail County dies

A man accused of murdering his wife in Otter Tail County in July died on Oct. 19, according to court documents that dismissed the charges due to his death.

Paul Edward Mart, 79, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder for the death of his wife after a four-hour standoff with a SWAT team.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office said Mart’s official cause of death was not available.

RELATED: Man arrested after SWAT response in Otter Tail County charged with killing his wife

The criminal complaint states that police responded to a home near Big Pine Lake in a rural part of Perham on the morning of July 14 after getting information that a man hurt a woman who was now dead. This caused residents in the area to be evacuated from their homes as police negotiated with Mart, who threatened to shoot any officers who came to his home.

Mart later surrendered and was arrested.

Court records say that during negotiations, Mart admitted to bashing his wife’s head into the floor the previous night. He also told his daughter that morning that he killed his wife.

After the standoff, the 77-year-old woman’s body was found with a gunshot wound to the head in addition to blunt force trauma. The criminal complaint states that dried blood was also found on his hands and feet, and police recovered a handgun with blood on it.