Trial begins for man accused of brutally beating grandson to death with hammer

NOW: Trial begins for man accused of brutally beating grandson to death with hammer

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Trial has begun for Andrez Martina, a Milwaukee man accused of beating and killing his 12-year-old grandson and injuring his 8-year-old grandson on August 29 near 46th and Hampton.

Fifty-three-year-old Martina appeared in Milwaukee County Court in front of Judge Stephanie Rothstein Wednesday, May 4, wearing an orange jumpsuit.

Martina faces five felony counts, including first-degree intentional homicide and physical abuse of a child, repeated acts causing death, for the death of Andre Smith. 

The prosecution called several witnesses to the stand, including the victim's aunt, detectives working the case, and the victim's younger brother who was injured in the incident. Martina himself took the stand for the defense. 

"I really thought he was sleeping and I grabbed him, and when I picked him up, he dropped in between my legs, like he folded," said Nia Moore, Smith's aunt who picked him up form Martina's home and rushed him to the hospital. "I sat outside and I was crying and I was praying. I was just crying and praying, and praying and praying."

On the stand, Martina claimed that he was inebriated on the night of August 28, 2021, and into the morning of August 29, 2021. He also went on to claim that his grandson, 12-year-old Andre Smith, stole nearly a thousand dollars from him and then proceeded to try and shoot Martina.

"I was pulling on his hand and when I snatched it that one good time, that's when he hit his head on the wall," Martina said, describing the moment he says he pulled a gun from his grandson's hands. "Once I grabbed the gun from him and he hit the wall, everything kind of went lights out. I wasn't registering anything."

Court entered recess at 4:55 and will resume Thursday morning at 10:30.

A verdict could be reached on Thursday. 

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