Sacramento mass shooting suspect released from prison early weeks before tragedy, has violent past

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One of the suspects in the Sacramento mass shooting was released early from prison roughly a month before the tragedy despite being rejected for an even earlier release after prosecutors argued he “clearly has little regard for human life,” documents show. 

Smiley Martin was arrested Tuesday in connection to the mass shooting that left six dead and 12 others injured early Sunday morning. His brother, Dandrae Martin, was the first suspect to be arrested in the case. 

“Smiley Martin and his brother, we believe, were together during this incident,” said Sgt. Zach Eaton of the Sacramento Police Department said of the shooting, according to KGO. 

This Feb. 6, 2022, booking photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Smiley Allen Martin, two days before he was released to Sacramento County probation for his sentence on charges of corporal injury and assault likely to cause great bodily injury. Martin was arrested Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in connection with a mass shooting that killed six people in Sacramento, Calif. Martin is the brother of Dandrae Martin, the first suspect taken into custody in the investigation. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP)

This Feb. 6, 2022, booking photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Smiley Allen Martin, two days before he was released to Sacramento County probation for his sentence on charges of corporal injury and assault likely to cause great bodily injury. Martin was arrested Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in connection with a mass shooting that killed six people in Sacramento, Calif. Martin is the brother of Dandrae Martin, the first suspect taken into custody in the investigation. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP)
(California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP)

SACRAMENTO MASS SHOOTING: THIRD PERSON ARRESTED

Smiley Martin has a criminal history dating back to 2013, including his most recent sentencing in 2018 to 10 years in prison for domestic violence and assault with great bodily injury. He was sentenced after he pushed his way into his girlfriend’s home, punched her, dragged her from the residence by her hair and whipped her with a belt. 

A Parole Board rejected his bid for early release in May of last year after prosecutors said the 2017 felony assault along with convictions for possessing an assault weapon and thefts posed “a significant, unreasonable risk of safety to the community.”

Martin “clearly has little regard for human life and the law,” and has displayed a pattern of criminal behavior from the time he was 18, a Sacramento County deputy district attorney wrote in a letter last year to the Board of Parole Hearings.

He was ultimately released in February of this year after authorities said his sentence was completed due to pre-sentencing credits. 

WITNESSES DESCRIBE CHAOTIC SCENE DURING CALIFORNIA MASS SHOOTING: ‘RUNNING INTO EACH OTHER’

“Smiley Martin, 27, was received by CDCR in January 2018 from Sacramento County with a 10 year sentence for corporal injury and assault likely to cause great bodily injury. Prior to reaching a CDCR facility, Martin had already received 508 days of pre-sentencing credits, and received a variety of additional post-sentencing credits. He was released to Sacramento County probation in February 2022,” the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said of his release. 

He was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of a machine gun. Hours before Sunday’s attack, Martin had posted a live Facebook video of himself brandishing a handgun, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

Smiley Martin was also injured during the shooting and will be booked when his condition improves enough for him to be jailed, a police statement said.

His brother, Dandrae Martin, 26, was arrested Monday as a “related suspect” on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and being a convict carrying a loaded gun. He was also wounded in the shooting, but not seriously, and made a brief appearance on the gun possession charge Tuesday in Sacramento Superior Court wearing orange jail scrubs.

Daviyonne Dawson, 31, was also arrested on suspicion of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. He was reportedly seen carrying a gun right after the mass shooting, according to police. 

“At this time, Dawson is not charged with crimes directly related to the shootings,” Sacramento police wrote. “Based on the type of firearm recovered, detectives do not believe that this gun was used in the shooting.”

In this undated photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry is Dandrae Martin. Sacramento police announced an arrest, Monday, April 4, 2022, connected to the shooting that killed and injured multiple people in the heart of California's capital as at least two shooters fired more than 100 rounds and people ran for their lives. Police said they booked Dandrae Martin, 26, as a "related suspect" on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and being a convict carrying a loaded gun.

In this undated photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry is Dandrae Martin. Sacramento police announced an arrest, Monday, April 4, 2022, connected to the shooting that killed and injured multiple people in the heart of California’s capital as at least two shooters fired more than 100 rounds and people ran for their lives. Police said they booked Dandrae Martin, 26, as a “related suspect” on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and being a convict carrying a loaded gun.
(Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry via AP)

LOS ANGELES FOLLOW-HOME ROBBERY SUSPECT ARRESTED AFTER BEING RELEASED FROM PRISON DAYS EARLIER

The Sacramento County coroner identified the women killed as Johntaya Alexander, 21; Melinda Davis, 57; and Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21. The three men killed were Sergio Harris, 38; Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; and De’vazia Turner, 29.

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California has seen repeated cases of criminals being released from custody only to commit crimes just days later. In Los Angeles, one suspect in a series of follow-home robberies was nabbed after he had already been arrested three times this year but subsequently released back onto the streets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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