DA fought to keep suspected Sacramento gunman behind bars, records show

A man arrested in connection with Sunday’s deadly shooting in Sacramento was granted early release from prison in February despite vehement opposition from Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, records show. 

In a statement, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) explained that shooting suspect Smiley Martin “was received by CDCR in January 2018 from Sacramento County with a 10 year sentence for corporal injury and assault likely to cause great bodily injury. 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. He was released to Sacramento County probation in February 2022."

In a letter to the CDCR, Schubert’s office protested Martin's release, warning that he was a violent, repeat offender who posed a danger to the public.

“I think the question is going to be asked here, 'what level of supervision, if any, was he under when he was released from prison?'" legal analyst Steven Clark told ABC 7 News, adding that lawmakers may now take a closer look at the prison credit system.

California lawmakers have called for stricter gun laws in the wake of the shooting. California already has some of the strictest gun regulations in the nation, but Democrats want to see more. A bill introduced by Sen. Robert Herzberg (D-Van Nuys) would allow people to sue those who traffic illegal weapons. The bill is modeled after a controversial law in Texas that allows citizens to sue people who provide or assist in providing abortions.

District Attorney Schubert, who is running for State Attorney General, issued a statement on the arrest Monday, but did not mention her recent attempt to keep that suspect behind bars.

“Yesterday, Sacramento Police Chief Lester advised the public that there were multiple shooters involved in this incident,” Schubert said. “The Sacramento Police Department made an arrest of an individual for assault with a firearm and a gun related charge. This individual has not been arrested for any homicide related to this incident. The investigation is highly complex involving many witnesses, videos of numerous types and significant physical evidence. This is an ongoing investigation and we anticipate more arrests in this case. Our ethical obligations as prosecutors prevents us from commenting about the specifics of the case. We will be reviewing the evidence provided to our office and making a determination of what, if any, charges are appropriate. If charges are filed, the complaint will be released to the public.”