Former Major League Baseball prospect faces the death penalty for murders

RIVERSIDE – A Riverside County jury has convicted a Corona man of the 2015 murders of three
people at the family home.

On Nov. 4, 2020, Brandon Willie Martin, 27, 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.

Jurors deliberated about four hours over two days before returning the guilty verdicts on all
seven counts in Dept. 44 at the Hall of Justice in Riverside.

The jury found Martin guilty of first-degree murder and found the special circumstance of multiple murders to be true. That special circumstance makes Martin eligible for the death penalty, which is being sought by DA Mike Hestrin in the case.

Beginning at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 9, the same jurors will begin hearing evidence and testimony in the penalty phase of the trial and will ultimately decide whether Martin should be sentenced to death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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, is being prosecuted by Deputy DAs Michael Kersse and Kevin Beecham
of the DA’s Homicide Trial Team.

Image Sources

  • bloody bat: Shutterstock