Suspect in Sacramento mass shooting out of jail early despite 10-year sentence – now six people are dead

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The following contains editorial content which is the opinion of the writer, a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

SACRAMENTO, CA- Far left criminal justice “reform” policies have claimed another six lives while leaving nearly a dozen injured, this time in Sacramento, California after a deadly April 3, 2022, mass shooting.

We are now learning that at least one of the suspects has an extensive criminal history and should have been locked up at the time of the shooting, according to The Post Millennial.

According to Sacramento police, 27-year-old Smiley Martin, still hospitalized from injuries received during the mass shooting, has been charged with possession of a machine gun (outlawed in the United States, by the way) and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

That outlet reports that the district attorney’s office last year wrote a letter expressing strong opposition to Martin’s release from his 10-year prison sentence, of which he had only served four years, according to documents they reviewed.

“Inmate Martin’s criminal conduct is violent and lengthy,” Deputy District Attorney Danielle Abildgaard wrote in a two-page letter to the Board of Parole Hearings on April 29, 2021.

In that letter, Abildgaard outlines Martin’s criminal history, which included robbery, firearm possession and providing false information to police which went back to 2013.

Martin’s involvement with law enforcement began shortly after he turned 18, when he attempted to discard an “assault” rifle he concealed in his waistband under his clothing.

“The rifle had a pistol grip and the capacity to accept a detachable magazine in front of the pistol grip. Inmate Martin was also found to be in possession of two fully loaded twenty-five round magazines for the assault weapon. Inmate Martin admitted to transporting the assault weapon and large capacity magazines to potential buyers. Martin was sentenced to probation and county jail,” Abildgaard wrote.

Only ten months later, Martin robbed a Walmart store, absconding with nearly $3000 of Galaxy notebook computers.

“Video surveillance captured the incident,” the letter continued. “During the investigation, law enforcement discovered additional robberies committed on November 29, 2013, and November 30, 2013, of similar electronics at other Walmart and Target stores. Witnesses positively identified Martin through surveillance photos at those subsequent robberies.”

“Inmate Martin pled to the robbery and was sentenced to two years in state prison.”

Subsequently, Martin was stopped by police for an unidentified reason, according to the letter. When the officer asked Martin for his name and date of birth, Martin gave false information. Officers then advised Martin he was going to be detained, at which point he fled.

“After a foot pursuit, Inmate Martin was eventually incapacitated with a Taser and ultimately taken into custody,” Abildgaard wrote. “Officers were able to identify him and learned he was a parolee at large.”

Subsequent to that arrest, Martin was involved in yet another incident which resulted in his 10-year prison sentence, this time forcing his way into his girlfriend’s home and violently assaulting her.

“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,” the letter continued. “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.”

The letter continued:

“During the investigation, information was gathered that the victim had been working as a prostitute and that Inmate Martin had been assisting and encouraging her to be a prostitute. Text messages and social media conversations revealed that he would tell her what kind of sex buyer she should date, how much money to charge, how to accept payment, and what forms of payment she should accept.”

The Blaze continued that California corrections spokeswoman Dana Simas told the Bee that Martin was given early release based on pre-sentencing and post-sentencing credits.

“Prior to reaching a CDCR facility, martin had already received 508 days of pre-sentencing credits, and received a variety of additional post-sentencing credits,” Simas wrote in an email. “He was released to Sacramento County probation in February 2022.”

Less than two months later, he participated in gunning down over a dozen people in Sacramento.

This comes as a number of California district attorneys, 44 in all, are planning to sue the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation over policies that would put an additional 76,000 criminals, some who are of the same ilk as Martin no doubt, back on the streets.

In opposing Martin’s release last year, the DA’s office further wrote:

“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,” the office wrote last April. “He has no respect for others, for law enforcement, or for the law.”

“If he is released early, he will continue to break the law.”

In addition to Martin, two others were arrested in connection to the April 3 shooting. Martin’s brother, Dandrae Martin was among those arrested, appearing in court last week on weapons charges, where he did not enter a plea, reported the Daily Mail.

Meanwhile, we have six more victims of leftist soft-on-criminals policies.

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For a previous report we filed about soft-on-crime DAs, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

Rasmussen conducted a recent survey which showed the majority of respondents favored voting any prosecutor out of office they deem to be soft-on-crime.

Could this be a sign that America is getting fed up?

The folks at Rasmussen joined with the National Police Association to determine if likely voters are happy with the work of the liberal prosecutors and judges in their communities.

The survey comes as violent crime is continuing to surge in large metropolitan cities.

The poll asked likely voters if they would favor a law that would allow an oversight committee designed to remove prosecutors from office for failure to prosecute violent crimes.

Of those that responded to the survey, 58 percent of them favored such a committee. 21 percent disagreed with creating something to remove prosecutors out of office while another 20 percent said they were unsure.

The people were also asked if they felt creating a law that would allow state attorney generals the authority to appoint a special prosecutor when they feel a local state or district attorney is not fulfilling their role on a specific case.

Of those surveyed, 54 percent agreed while 24 percent disagreed, and 22 percent were undecided.

Rasmussen conducted the survey of 982 likely voters on February 7th with the National Police Association. Rasmussen reports that there is a sampling error of +/-3 percentage points with a level of 95 percent confidence.

Rasmussen noted a specific case in which Chicago State Attorney Kim Foxx declined to pursue charges against five people who were involved in a gang style shootout. They wrote:

“For example, Foxx’s office refused to prosecute five suspects arrested by Chicago police in a gang-related shootout that left one person dead, saying it was “mutual combat.”

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of voters believe Foxx bears responsibility if the gang members commit more crime, and 72% say refusing to prosecute gang members for gunfights will make Chicago’s neighborhoods less safe.”

Rasmussen then asked about the new Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s policies on not pursuing criminal charges on certain arrests. They wrote:

“Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters believe the policy of Bragg – who has instructed his staff in Manhattan to halt prosecutions for resisting arrest, among other crimes – makes it more likely people will resist arrest.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) think that refusing to prosecute for resisting arrest will make arrests more dangerous for arresting officers.”

Rasmussen also asked about San Francisco’s District Attorney, Chesa Boudin, and Los Angeles District Attorney, George Gascon, who are both well known for their progressive policies in terms of filing criminal charges. For those that responded, 72 percent of them believe that Boudin’s policy will make it more dangerous and entice criminals to commit more crimes.

For Gascon, 69 percent of those who responded feel Los Angeles is more dangerous because of his refusal to prosecute minors as adults regardless of what crime they have allegedly committed. 61 percent of those that responded feel Gascon himself is personally responsible if those he has gone easy on commit another crime when they are released.

Rasmussen claims that a majority of those polled show they are fed up on what they call soft-on-crime policies. They wrote:

“The survey found broad voter opposition to soft-on-crime policies and support for proposals to replace prosecutors who fail to enforce the law.”

Results in this survey embolden those like retired Sergeant Betsy Brantner Smith, the spokeswoman for the National Police Association, who notes:

“We have to fight this anti-law-enforcement narrative pushed by these woke progressive prosecutors who have gained a foothold in this country. It has become obvious these progressive prosecutors, any supported by money from outside jurisdictions, have obtained office not to protect the public, but to protect criminals.”

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Convicted violent felon let off with easy sentence now arrested for attempted murder of police officer

ATLANTA, GA – A man who accepted a plea deal as a teenager in 2016 for pulling a gun on a mother and carjacking a vehicle for five years instead of ten has been arrested again.

This time, his charges are more serious as he is accused of shooting an Atlanta Police Officer several times.

 

The violent convicted felon, identified as Christian Eppinger, now 22, was arrested in 2016 when he was 16 years old for an armed carjacking.

In that case, he was accused of pointing a gun at a young woman who had her small child with her and stealing her car. Eppinger was taken into custody after crashing the car during a vehicle pursuit.

Eppinger was indicted as an adult by the Fulton County District Attorneys office for various felony charges, including armed robbery.

Eppinger, who allegedly has been a documented gang member since he was 13, faced well over a decade in prison for the charges.

However, instead of facing at least a decade in jail, Eppinger was released in May of 2021 after he accepted a plea deal.

That plea deal, which allegedly was supported by the victim in the case, allowed him to be considered a first-time offender which provided the opportunity to only being sentenced to five years.

 

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When Channel 2 reporter Mark Winne learned of this, he spoke to the Fulton County District Attorney, Fani Willis, on February 2nd. Winnie asked:

“In light of what [the Department of Community Supervision] tells us and his [Eppinger] plea agreement, did the system fail?”

DA Willis, who was not in office at the time of the plea deal, admitted that, in her opinion, the system failed in terms of allowing Eppinger to accept a plea deal for only five years. Winne then asked if Eppinger could be resentenced for the 2016 case since he was tried as a first offender. Willis said:

“That’s correct. He can be resentenced up to the max.”

Winnie asked Willis if that was something that the District Attorneys Office would consider given Eppinger’s alleged recent shooting of a police officer. Willis responded:

“Absolutely. We’re going to have his first offender [status] revoked.”

Despite agreeing that the justice system failed in terms of the sentencing of Eppinger, Willis noted that the plea deal was reasonable considering the circumstances and his age. Willis said:

“The victim was in full agreement. In fact, if you read the transcripts, her testimony during that hearing is quite moving.”

Winnie reported that probation officials were in the process of entering a warrant for Eppinger at the time of the shooting after he failed to report to his assigned office upon his release. However, for some reason, the probation office was unable to complete the warrant in the nine months since he had been released.

A DCS spokesperson was asked about the significant delay in obtaining an arrest warrant for Eppinger who conceded that it took longer than it should have. The spokesperson said:

“A preliminary review identified issues not consistent with our standards in the warrant process specific to this case and the [d]epartment is currently addressing [the issue]. Due to potential personnel action, no further details can or will be provided.”

The shooting occurred when Atlanta Police Officer David Rodgers encountered Eppinger on February 7th near the Colonial Square Apartment complex off of Old Hapeville Road just after 1 pm.

The Atlanta Police Department reported that Officer Rodgers was with other officers when they moved in to take Eppinger into custody for outstanding warrants from a robbery and aggravated assault case in October of 2021.

 

As officers moved in, Eppinger allegedly fired multiple times, striking Officer Rodgers six times. Another officer who was with Rodgers returned fire but did not strike Eppinger.

Eppinger was taken into custody and charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, attempted murder of a police officer, aggravated battery against a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime plus anything else they could.

Eppinger appeared in front of a judge on February 8th and was denied bond.

Officer Rodgers was transported to the Grady Memorial Hospital where he remains after being shot several times, including once in the back of the head. At the time of this report, there is no updated information as to Officer Rodger’s status.


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