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Arraignment delayed for Smiley Martin, suspect in deadly Sacramento gang shooting

A man behind bars with a guard.
Smiley Martin, a suspect in the Sacramento shooting, makes his first appearance in Sacramento County Superior Court on Friday.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
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A suspect in the April 3 deadly shooting in downtown Sacramento made his first appearance in court Friday after being hospitalized for injuries incurred in the melee.

During the one-minute hearing, the arraignment for Smiley Martin, 27, was delayed until Tuesday.

Martin is among at least five suspects of the shooting that left six dead and injured a dozen more. Police say the shootout was gang-related.

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Handcuffed, Martin entered Sacramento County Superior Court with a bandage on his left arm, but the extent of his injuries was difficult to discern. Neither he nor his public defender made comments.

Martin faces charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, as he had previously been convicted of a felony, and possession of a machine gun. Prosecutors allege he also has a prior strike under California’s “three strikes” law for a previous robbery conviction.

There have been no murder charges filed in the complicated case, which includes multiple victims and suspects, a vast crime scene and witnesses potentially reluctant to cooperate because they fear gang reprisals.

Multiple crime scenes, reluctant witnesses, weapons possibly removed the scene. To top it off, police are now seeking a fugitive suspect.

April 14, 2022

Both Martin and his brother, 26-year-old Dandrae Martin, have been named as suspects and arrested for gun crimes. Police are searching for another suspect, Mtula Payton, 27, who is wanted on multiple felony warrants. On April 12, police took the step of seeking the public’s help in tracking down Payton, who has an extensive criminal record.

Three men killed in the shooting were linked to gangs, prosecutors allege.

Last week, Dist. Atty. Anne Marie Schubert requested that Smiley Martin be ineligible for bail release, alleging “clear and convincing evidence” that he “intended to engage in armed criminal action with an illegal firearm,” according to Sacramento County Superior Court documents.

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According to court filings, Martin was spotted in video surveillance footage exchanging gunfire before fleeing the scene and discarding a Glock 19 handgun with an extended magazine. A preliminary ballistics analysis showed that he fired about 28 rounds, according to prosecutors.

Authorities don’t have a firm motive in the Sacramento massacre. But it’s clear now the shooting was the result of a conflict among groups of people.

April 7, 2022

In a video posted to social media that night, Martin posed with multiple firearms and pledged his allegiance to the Garden Blocc Crips gang, according to court documents.

The shooting, the worst in Sacramento’s history, occurred around 2 a.m. after a large fight broke out in the downtown entertainment district near the Capitol.

Killed in the shooting were Johntaya Alexander and Yamile Martinez-Andrade, both 21; DeVazia Turner, 29; Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; Melinda Davis, 57; and Sergio Harris, 38.

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