MILWAUKEE - A 53-year-old Milwaukee man is accused of killing his 12-year-old grandson over money that was allegedly taken from his wallet.
"He’s gone, he’s gone. My baby is gone," said Nakeda Martina, the mother of 12-year-old Andre Smith II. "Andre was sweet as pie. He was so kind."
The accused is Andrez Martina, charged with:
- First-degree intentional homicide
- Physical abuse of a child, repeated acts causing death
- Neglecting a child - consequence is death
- Physical abuse of a child, repeated acts with high probability of great bodily harm
- Possession of a firearm by a felon
According to the criminal complaint, Milwaukee police officers responded to Children's Wisconsin on Sunday morning, Aug. 29 to investigate a child abuse complaint. When they arrived on the scene, Smith was unresponsive and rushed into the emergency department. About 45 minutes later, doctors pronounced the 12-year-old boy deceased.
The complaint indicates Martina is the grandfather of the deceased, Andre Smith II. In an interview with police, the legal guardian of the boy indicated Martina asked that the child and an 8-year-old boy sleep over at his house. Around 8:25 a.m. Sunday, Martina sent a "text message accusing (the 12-year-old boy) of stealing the defendant's money." When the guardian asked Martina where the 12-year-old was, he responded, "he's bleeding," the complaint says. The guardian immediately asked her daughter to go to the defendant's house to check on the boy.
Smith's younger brother told authorities he and Andre were struck by Martina with a mallet, sledgehammer, a coat rack, and a cane. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office said Smith suffered a severe skull fracture, consistent with multiple blunt force blows to the head.
Andre Smith II (Photo provided by family)
Police later conducted an interview with the great-grandmother of Andre Smith II. She was "awakened by the defendant yelling" at the boy. She told police she "saw the defendant striking (the boy) with a hammer," the complaint states.
On Monday, Aug. 30, police detectives interviewed Martina. He indicated in May 2021, he returned to Milwaukee from Indiana and "wanted to reconnect with his grandchildren. The defendant learned that (the 12-year-old boy) had a problem stealing, according to the complaint. The defendant recalled telling his grandchildren in the past, "if you lie, if you mess up in school, if you steal, I'm going to kill you."
Homicide investigation of 12-year-old boy near 46th and Glendale, Milwaukee
Martina told police around 3 a.m. Sunday, he woke up and "noticed that his wallet was open and money was missing." Martina indicated he went into the living room and confronted the 12-year-old about the money. The complaint says he "smacked (the 12-year-old boy) repeatedly, demanding that (the boy) get the defendant's money." Martina "claimed to not know what else to do in order to get his money back," the complaint says. The boy "ran into the bathroom and locked himself inside in an attempt to protect himself from the defendant. The defendant picked the lock open and 'lost it' on (the boy)," according to the complaint.
"He ain’t have to kill my baby," Nakeda Martina told FOX6 News on Tuesday. "It’s not right. I haven’t slept or ate since they called me Sunday morning and said my child was dead. No mother wants to get that phone call. He was only 12."
During the interview with police, the "defendant admitted to killing a boy in 1989 and said he wanted to talk with police as the defendant has nothing to hide." The Wisconsin Department of Corrections told FOX6 News Andrez Martina served a mandatory four-year sentence starting in 1990 for homicide by reckless conduct and was released.
"My dad killed somebody in 1989. The system failed to stop him from doing that again. Unfortunately, his last victim was my child," said Nakeda Martina.
The defendant also believed the entire incident noted above lasted more than five hours.
A search of Martina's residence turned up drugs and a firearm.
- Report Child Abuse and Neglect in Milwaukee County: Call 414-220-SAFE (7233)
- Milwaukee County Child Protective Services
- Children's Wisconsin: Report child abuse
- Children's Wisconsin: Child abuse prevention
Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
- Recognizing the signs of abuse
- Reporting suspected child maltreatment (includes brochures in English, Spanish and Hmong)
- Child protective services agency contact information
- Mandated reporter online training
- Child welfare data and reports