A jury recommended Thursday that a former MLB prospect from Corona be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2015 killing of three people, including his father and uncle, officials said.
Brandon Willie Martin, 27, was found guilty on Nov. 4 of the first-degree murders of his 64-year-old disabled father Michael Martin; his 51-year-old maternal uncle Ricky Andersen; and 62-year-old Barry Swanson, an alarm system installer who was working at the family’s home at the time of the incident, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said.
A jury also found true the special circumstance of multiple murders, making Martin eligible for the death penalty, according to the DA’s office.
Martin, who originally pleaded not guilty in 2015, is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 29, 2021, for the rendering of the sentence by a judge.
On Sept. 17, 2015, police responded to the family’s home in the 1000 block of Winthrop Drive in Corona. They found the three men beaten to death with a black wooden baseball bat engraved with Martin’s name, officials said.
The bodies of the three men were discovered by Martin’s cousin, who called 911.
Michael Martin and Barry Swanson died at the scene and Ricky Andersen died two days later.
Swanson was at the home to install an ADT alarm system because the family feared Martin, according to the DA’s office.
After Martin beat the three men, he stole Swanson’s Ford Raptor pickup truck, which police spotted the next day, leading them on a pursuit. At the end of the chase, Martin left the truck and fled on foot. While attempting to evade officers, Martin broke into a home then jumped out a second-story window.
A police canine was sent to detain Martin, and after fighting with the dog, Martin was arrested.
In 2011, Martin was the 38th overall Major League Baseball draft pick, selected by the Tampa Bay Rays. He was released by the team in March 2015.