Murder of Andre Smith II

On August 29, 2021 Andrez Danielle Martina beat his 12-year-old grandson, Andre Smith Jr., to death with a sledgehammer, mallet, and a coat rack. The beating lasted over 3 hours.

Andre and his 8-year-old brother had been sleeping over their grandfather’s house. At 3:00am Martina woke up to use the bathroom and noticed his wallet open and money missing. He went into the living and confronted his grandchildren about the money. The children denied taking money, which upset Martina. According to official documents Andre turned his pockets out to show he did not take any money. Martina smacked Andre repeatedly and demanded that he return the money. Andre went into a bedroom and returned to the living room but did not have the money. Martina started hitting Andre more. Documents state “The defendant recalled, ‘I’m not killing him, I’m just bopping his ass.

 Martina looped two belts together and attempted to hit Andre, but he caught the belt, which added to his anger. Martina recalled picking up his mother’s wooden can and began to beat his grandson. Documents state Andre claimed the money was outside and ran out of the house. Martina and brought him back inside. He continued to beat his grandson with a belt and cane.

Andre locked himself in the bathroom. Martina picked the lock open and “lost it”; he threw Andre headfirst into the wall, creating a hole in the wall. He eventually noticed that Andre was bleeding and put him in the bathtub to wash him.

Martina did not recall using a sledgehammer but was informed by his mother, who witnessed the entire incident.

The Great Grandma’s Witnessed Murder

Martina’s mother, Cassandra Martina, lived with her son and was present during the murder. Official documents note that the great-grandmother, Cassandra, is disabled, “making it difficult to intervene.”

Cassandra woke up in the early morning to her son, Martina, yelling at Andre. She recalled witnessing Martina strike Andre with a hammer all over his body. Cassandra told investigators he eventually put the hammer down and picked up her cane and continued to beat him. She witnessed Andre flee the living room, which is when she lost a visual, but heard Martina continue to strike Andre.

Investigators set up a forensic interview to understand what the 8-year-old had witnessed. He recalled being woken up and asked about the money his grandfather said was missing. He told investigators that he too was struck by his grandfather before his attention fully turned on his brother. The 8-year-old also witnessed Martina striking his brother with a mallet, sledgehammer, and a coat rack; he also stated that he saw his grandfather stomp on his brother’s stomach. The 8-year-old was brought to the hospital where he was treated for a cut on his head and a fractured finger. It was also documented that his body was bruised, which is “consistent with child physical abuse.”

According to official documents that have been released, the sibling’s legal guardian, Illysha McCroy, who is also their grandmother, was aware that the boys were staying over their grandfather’s house; the last time she had seen them, they both were “in good health”.

Family Receives Alarming Text

At 8:24 a.m. Illysha received a text message from Martina, where he accused Andre of stealing money. When asked where Andre was, Martina responded, “he’s bleeding”. She woke up her daughter, the sibling’s biological mother, Nia, and was informed of the messages she received. Nia left with her boyfriend to Martina’s house to check on her children.

Upon arriving at the house, Nia knocked on the door and the 8-year-old ran out of the house. Nia entered the house and returned out to the car yelling “Oh my God, you are going to jail for this” and instructed her boyfriend to go inside. Upon entering, he saw Martina dragging Andre out of the bathroom, into the kitchen. The boyfriend told investigators there was an large amount of blood on the kitchen floor and what he believed to be brain matter. Andre appeared to be unconscious and “his head looked ripped open with the skull exposed.” He then took his shirt and wrapped it around Andres’s head, carried him to the car, and rushed him to the hospital.

According to official documents, Police Officer Thomas Delaney responded to a child abuse complaint located at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin at 9:35 am. He observed Andre being removed out of the ambulance and noticed the gauze wrapped around his head was soaked through with blood; Andre was unresponsive. Doctors tried to provide life-saving measures, but Andre was pronounced dead at 10:15 am.

Andrez Martina

Arrest

Martina was caught and arrested shortly after police were notified of the incident. He was attempting to sell his van or trade it to stay in a hotel.

When Martina spoke to investigators, he stated he knew that Andre needed medical treatment and explained that Andre “kept wanting to go to sleep and there was a large flap of skin coming off of Andre’s head”. He also admitted to hitting the younger sibling and breaking his finger during this same incident.

Marijuana, methamphetamine pills, and a .32 caliber firearm were found upon searching the house. The investigator’s report also noted that Martina had a criminal past:

He has been charged with first degree intentional Homicide, physical abuse of a child- repeated acts causing death, neglecting a child where death is the consequence, abuse of child- repeated acts with high probability of great bodily harm, possession of a firearm by a felon.

During Martina’s arraignment the mother of Andre (Martina’s daughter) made a statement. 

Martina is currently being held on $750,000 bail. His next court date is set for September 13, 2021.

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