The second man arrested in the wake of Sunday’s deadly mass shooting in Sacramento, California, is a career criminal who was released early from prison despite vehement opposition from the county’s district attorney, the Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday.
According to documents obtained by the news outlet through a public records request, 27-year-old Smiley Martin was granted an early release from prison in February 2022, just over four years into a 10-year prison sentence for domestic violence and assault with great bodily injury convictions.
On Tuesday, Martin was arrested on charges of possession of a machine gun and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person for his role in the horrific shooting that has left at least six dead and 15 more injured. He reportedly recorded himself on a Facebook Live video brandishing a handgun hours before the shooting.
A day earlier, Martin’s brother, Dandrae Martin, was arrested for his role in the shooting. Later Tuesday, news broke that a third arrest had been made.
But if Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s office had its way, Martin would never have been allowed to walk the streets that night.
In a letter to the Board of Parole Hearings in April 2021, Deputy District Attorney Danielle Abildgaard detailed Martin’s lengthy criminal behavior and history of violent actions, which include robbery, illegal firearm possession, and lying to police.
“Inmate Martin’s criminal conduct is violent and lengthy,” Abildgaard wrote. “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.”
“He has no respect for others, for law enforcement, or for the law,” the deputy DA continued, warning, “If he is released early, he will continue to break the law.”
Starting in 2013, Martin engaged in a pattern of dangerous criminal behavior. In January of that year, just six months after his 18th birthday, he was sentenced to probation and county jail after being confronted by police for attempting to illegally sell a rifle and multiple large-capacity magazines.
Ten months later, Martin and three partners ambushed a Walmart store and made off with $2,800 worth of electronic merchandise. Video and surveillance would later show that Martin was responsible for additional robberies in the area, and he was again sentenced to two years in state prison.
In 2016, he lied to police and attempted to evade arrest after a run-in with officers.
Then, in 2018, Martin’s crimes took an even more violent turn when he forced his way into his girlfriend’s home and assaulted 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,” Abildgaard’s letter said. “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,” it continued. “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.”
California corrections spokeswoman Dana Simas reportedly told the Sacramento Bee that Martin was granted early release based on a number of pre-sentencing and post-sentencing credits.
His release came at a time when 44 other DAs in the state were preparing to sue the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation over policies that would put some 76,000 criminals back on the street early.