Brandon Willie Martin, 27, a former draft pick for the Tampa Bay Rays, was found guilty on Wednesday in the murders of his father Michael Martin, 64, maternal uncle Ricky Andersen, 51, and ADT alarm installer Barry Swanson, 62. He lashed out after his family had him detained on a 72-hour mental health hold, authorities said. The victims were beaten with a baseball bat.
The prosecution said in closing arguments on Tuesday that Swanson was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Defendant Martin reportedly had a rocky minor league career before getting released in 2015. Trouble continued afterwards. Prosecutors said he threatened his family, and called his father, who was Black, racial slurs. Things got so bad they had him put on a 72-hour hold and had Swanson over to install an alarm, according to the story. But he was released early. Authorities said that with nothing to lose and his life at rock bottom, defendant Martin went to his family’s home, and attacked the victims. He then fled, knowing that he would at least go to prison for life, prosecutors said.
#BaseballTrial – Here is K-9 Dex. Dex’s handler, Jeffrey Bennett is on the stand. He tells the jury that when trying to get the defendant to comply, the defendant punched Dex several times in the head and face, he then picked Dex up and slammed on the concrete, the dog yelped. pic.twitter.com/mKKmzu5iQv
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) November 2, 2020
The defense maintained that there was no motive for the defendant to commit these crimes, and there was no direct evidence showing he was responsible. Martin’s family did not abandon him when putting him on the 72-hour hold. They were all he had, and were not going to toss him on the street.
In the rebuttal, the prosecution asserted that the killer would have had enough time to clean up. Evidence put defendant Martin at the crime scene at the time of the killings. There was proof he did not like his father, and also that he threatened his family, the prosecution said.
The penalty phase of the trial is scheduled to begin Monday. The defendant faces the death penalty.
[Mugshot via Riverside County]
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