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Jury decides life in prison for Corona man, a former MLB prospect, found guilty of three 2015 murders

RIVERSIDE – A Riverside County jury determined today, Nov. 19, 2020, that a Corona man and former Major League baseball prospect should be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2015 murders of three people at the family home.


On Nov. 4, 2020, Brandon Willie Martin, DOB: 8-24-93, was found guilty of the murders of his disabled father, Michael Martin, 64; his uncle, Ricky Andersen, 58; and Barry Swanson, 62, an ADT alarm installer. The jury found Martin guilty of first-degree murder and found the special circumstance of multiple murders to be true, making him eligible for the death penalty.


The same jurors then heard several days of evidence and testimony in the penalty phase of the trial to determine whether to recommend Martin be sentenced to death or to life in prison without the possibility of parole – the only two possible sentences in a special circumstance murder case.


Martin is now scheduled to return on Jan. 29, 2021, in Dept. 44 at the Hall of Justice in Riverside for the rendering of the sentence by Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz.


On Sept. 17, 2015, the three men were beaten to death with a black wooden baseball bat engraved with Brandon Martin’s name. Michael Martin and Barry Swanson died at the scene and Ricky Andersen died two days later.


Swanson was at the Martin family home on Winthrop Drive in Corona to install an ADT alarm system because the family feared Brandon Martin. The bodies of the three men were discovered by Brandon Martin’s cousin, who called 911.


After the three victims were beaten at the home, Martin stole Swanson’s Ford Raptor pickup. The next day, Corona police spotted the pickup and Martin led them on a pursuit in Corona. At the end of the vehicle pursuit, Martin ditched the truck and fled on foot. In his attempt to evade officers, he broke into a home where he jumped from a second-story window. Corona police sent a police canine to detain Martin. After fighting with the canine, Martin was arrested.


In 2011, Brandon 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.


The case, RIF1506112, was prosecuted by Deputy DAs Michael Kersse and Kevin Beecham of the DA’s Homicide Trial Team.


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Author: John Hall

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