With felony charges pending in Connecticut, Wyatt warden resigns

Warden Daniel Martin submitted his resignation on April 19 and will appear in court on May 4

By: - April 28, 2023 5:18 pm
The Donald W. Wyatt Detention facility in Central Falls.

The Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls. (Photo by Kevin G. Andrade)

CENTRAL FALLS — The warden of the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility — who is facing multiple felony charges in Connecticut — has resigned from the post he has held for the past eight years.

Daniel Martin submitted his resignation to the governing body of the quasi-public facility, the Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation, on April 19, according to Board Chair James Lombardi. 

The corporation’s May 1 meeting agenda includes an item on the “resignation of Daniel Martin and discussion, vote, or other action regarding appointment of interim warden.” 

Three days later, on May 4, Martin is scheduled to appear in Danielson Superior Court in Danielson, Conn., on four felony charges of second-degree assault, second-degree strangulation, violation of a protective order, and criminal possession of a handgun\revolver.

He pleaded not guilty to all four counts last August after his arrest by Connecticut State Police. The law firm Suisman Shapiro Wool Brennan Gray and Greenberg PC, which represents Martin, declined to comment.

“We have received and have accepted Daniel Martin’s resignation letter, effective April 19, 2023,” Lombardi said in a statement sent to Rhode Island Current. “Acting Warden Michael Nessinger, who assumed the role in 2022, will continue serving in this capacity for the time being.”

Dan Martin became warden of the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls in 2015. (http://www.wyattdetention.com)

The corporation’s board of directors voted on Martin’s “job performance” in a closed executive session on March 20, six months after it was first discussed in closed executive session on September 19

CTInsider reported in October that Connecticut State Police charged Martin, 56, with the strangulation and assault charges when he was arrested during a domestic dispute with his wife at their Killingly home on Aug. 10.

His wife, Kimberly Martin — with whom he is currently in divorce proceedings — was charged with third degree assault and disorderly conduct. CTInsider later reported she said in the arrest warrant affidavit that her husband “believes he is really powerful because he is a warden at a correctional facility” and that she feared for her life. 

Martin was charged with possessing a firearm and violating a protective order after his wife saw a post on Instagram on Aug. 14 of him shooting a gun at a firing range despite a protective order prohibiting his possession of firearms.  

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Eventful tenure at Wyatt

The Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation has contracts with the U.S. Marshals Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Navy to hold prisoners at the 770-bed facility. 

According to the prison’s website, Martin began work at the Wyatt in November 2013 as chief of security before being appointed warden in July 2015.

Martin was warden when protests began around the prison after the commencement of a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold immigrant detainees from former President Donald Trump’s zero tolerance southern border initiative in 2019. 

Shortly after, the governing board of the Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation suspended the contract for 90 days. Bondholders, represented by UMB Bank, then filed a lawsuit seeking millions in damages in U.S. District Court in Providence, which resulted in an order to reinstate the contract to pay bondholders. 

The protests made national news when, on August 19, 2019, a private pickup truck operated by a guard drove through a crowd of protesters blocking the entrance to the parking lot. Five people were injured in the incident. A grand jury later declined to charge the driver, who resigned from his guard job after the incident.


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Kevin G. Andrade
Kevin G. Andrade

Kevin G. Andrade previously covered education, housing and human services for Rhode Island Current.