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American News Apr 6, 2022 2:50 PM EST

Sacramento mass shooting suspect was released from jail years early despite being labelled a 'significant threat'

"If he is released early, he will continue to break the law," the Sacramento district attorney’s office said, strongly opposing Smiley Martin’s early release from the 10-year prison sentence.

Sacramento mass shooting suspect was released from jail years early despite being labelled a 'significant threat'
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

One of the men accused of opening fire on a crowd in Sacramento early Sunday morning has been revealed to have a long running criminal history, and was released from prison in February after serving just four years of a 10-year sentence.

On Tuesday, Sacramento police arrested 27-year-old Smiley Martin, who remains in the hospital for injuries he sustained during the shooting, and faces charges of possession of a machine gun and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Documents obtained by The Sacramento Bee show that the district attorney’s office had strongly opposed Smiley Martin’s release from the 10-year prison sentence in a letter last year.

"Inmate Martin’s criminal conduct is violent and lengthy," wrote Deputy District Attorney Danielle Abildgaard in a two-page letter to the Board of Parole Hearings on April 29, 2021.

The letter outlines Martin’s criminal history of robbery, firearm possession, and giving false information to the police stemming back to 2013.

Martin was made known to law enforcement after an incident during which he attempted to discard an assault rifle that he had concealed in his waistband under his clothing, just months after turning 18.

"The rifle had a pistol grip and the capacity to accept a detachable magazine in front of the pistol grip. Inmate Martin was also found to be in possession of two fully loaded twenty-five round magazines for the assault weapon. Inmate Martin admitted to transporting the assault weapon and large capacity magazines to potential buyers. Inmate Martin was sentenced to probation and county jail," the letter stated.

10 months later, Martin and three others robbed a Walmart store, stealing $2,800 worth of Galaxy Notebooks.

"Video surveillance captured the incident," the letter said. "During the investigation, law enforcement discovered additional robberies committed on November 29, 2013, and November 30, 2013, of similar electronics at other Walmart and Target stores. Witnesses positively identified Inmate Martin through surveillance photos at those subsequent robberies."

"Inmate Martin pled to the robbery and was sentenced to two years in state prison."

Martin once again faced law enforcement officers after his vehicle was stopped. The officer asked for his name and date of birth, to which Martin provided false information. When the officers said that they were going to detain him, he fled.

"After a foot pursuit Inmate Martin was eventually incapacitated with a Taser and ultimately taken into custody," the letter said. "Officers were able to identify him and learned he was a parolee at large."

Nearly six months after this encounter, Martin was involved in the incident that led to his 10 year prison sentence, where he forced his way into his girlfriend’s home and beat her.

"He located her hiding in her bedroom closet and hit her repeatedly with a closed fist on the face, head, and body, causing visible injuries," the letter says. "He then dragged her out of the home by her hair to an awaiting car. After he put her in the car, he assaulted her with a belt."

"During the investigation, information was gathered that the victim had been working as a prostitute and that Inmate Martin had been assisting and encouraging her to be a prostitute. Text messages and social media conversations revealed that he would tell her what kind of sex buyer she should date, how much money to charge, how to accept payment, and what forms of payment she should accept."

According to the Sacramento Bee, California corrections spokeswoman Dana Simas said on Tuesday afternoon that the parole board had denied Martin’s parole in May of 2021, but less than a year later he was released.

"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," she wrote in an email. "He was released to Sacramento County probation in February 2022."

"As shown by Inmate Martin’s pattern of conduct, he is an assaultive and non-compliant individual and has absolutely no regard for his victims who are left in the wake of numerous serious offenses," Schubert’s office wrote last April. "He has no respect for others, for law enforcement or for the law.

"If he is released early, he will continue to break the law."

Three people, including Martin, were arrested in connection to the April 3 shooting, which left six dead and nearly a dozen injured.

Martin’s brother, Dandrae Martin, was also arrested in connection to the shooting, and appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon on weapons charges, where he did not enter a plea, according to the Daily Mail.

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