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The trial for a Wisconsin grandfather accused of beating his own grandson to death with a sledgehammer got underway in Milwaukee on Wednesday.
Emotions ran high in the courtroom as several witnesses took the stand to describe the final moments of young Andre Smith’s life.
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The 12-year-old’s grandfather, Andrez Martina, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and physical abuse of a child in relation to his death on August 29, 2021. Prosecutors allege Martina used a sledgehammer and other objects to beat the boy.
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In an interview with police, Martina admitted to being under the influence and blacking out during the beating, according to Fox 6.
Smith’s 8-year-old brother testified at the trial, saying he witnessed the beating and that his grandfather also hit him with a cane.
Martina testified in his own defense on Wednesday. He claimed his grandson stole $1,000 from him, wouldn’t tell him where it was and then pulled a gun on him.
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“Well, once I grabbed the gun from him, and he hit the wall, everything went lights out,” Martina said.
He claimed he didn’t mean to kill the boy.
Martina waived his right to a jury trial in March, so the judge will decide the verdict.