Violent Career Criminal Released Early Involved in Mass Shooting

By John Friend

One of the men arrested in connection with a deadly mass shooting in Sacramento, California in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 3 was a violent career criminal who was released early from a 10-year prison sentence handed down in January 2018 despite opposition from Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s office shortly before his release.

Smiley Allen Martin, a 27-year-old Black man with a lengthy criminal record, was arrested on Tuesday along with another unidentified 31-year-old man in connection with the deadly shooting in downtown Sacramento that left 6 individuals dead and 12 more seriously wounded. Martin was sentenced on January 12, 2018 to a 10-year prison term after violently assaulting his girlfriend at the time. Prior to that sentencing, Martin had been arrested and imprisoned numerous other times going back to 2013. He was released in February of this year over the objections from DA Schubert.

Martin’s brother, Dandrae, 26, was arrested on Monday in connection with the shooting as well. He also has a criminal record, including “a felony conviction for aggravated assault in 2016 and a conviction on a marijuana charge in 2018,” according to KTVU, a Fox affiliate.

All three men are currently facing charges for illegal firearm possession as the investigation continues. Police believe numerous individuals were involved in the firefight, which left over 100 expended bullet casings at the scene, 6 dead bodies and three buildings and three cars strewn with bullet holes.

“On April 3, 2022, at approximately 2:00 a.m., Sacramento Police Department officers responded to the sounds of shots fired in the area of 10th Street and K Street,” the Sacramento PD explained in a press release. “Upon arrival, officers located a large group of individuals as well as multiple gunshot victims. Officers began live-saving [sic] measures to multiple victims on scene. Despite these efforts, six victims were pronounced deceased at the scene. Twelve other victims with varying degrees of injuries have also been located.”

Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Danielle Abildgaard wrote a two-page letter to the Board of Parole Hearings on April 29, 2021, vehemently opposing Martin’s early release. Despite the DA office’s insistence that Martin not be released early, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation recommended Martin’s release earlier this year in yet another indication of the failing and irresponsible criminal justice system in America.

“Inmate Martin’s criminal conduct is violent and lengthy,” Abildgaard wrote before detailing his long criminal history which included robbery, possession of a firearm and giving false information to police. She described the circumstances leading to his arrest and prison sentence of 10 years which involved a violent encounter with his then-girlfriend after he forced his way into her home.

“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 wrote. “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.”

In the letter, the Deputy District Attorney would go on to detail how Martin operated as his girlfriend’s pimp. To conclude the letter, Abildgaard ominously predicted that if “released early, he will continue to break the law.”

“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,” she noted. “He has no respect for others, for law enforcement or for the law.”

CBS Sacramento reported yesterday that a Facebook Live video had been discovered showing Martin with a gun just hours before the mass shooting in downtown Sacramento.