A former minor league baseball player has been convicted of beating to death three people with a bat, and one of those people included his own father.
Brandon Martin was found guilty of first-degree murder Thursday for the 2015 killings in Corona. The 27-year-old now has to wait as jurors decide whether to recommend life in prison or the death penalty. The Riverside County district attorney is seeking the death penalty.
Prosecutors said Martin used a baseball bat engraved with his name to attack his disabled father, Michael Martin, 64; his uncle, Ricky Anderson, 58; and an alarm system installer, Barry Swanson, 62.
Back in 2011, Martin was chosen by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011 in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft. He was the 38th overall selection and played three seasons with the Rays’ farm team before being released on March 26, 2015.
Once drafted, his behavior became outlandish as he once punched his father in the face and put his mother in a headlock, the Los Angeles Times reported. The killings occurred after Martin had been taken to a Riverside County mental health facility for evaluation after telling police that he choked his mother and threatened her with scissors.
Soon after he was released in September 2015, Martin went to his family home and attacked his relatives and Swanson, who was there to install an alarm system “because the family feared Brandon Martin.”
A day after the killings, Corona police spotted Martin in Swanson’s stolen pickup truck, leading to a chase that ended with Martin leaving the truck and running.