Ex-Rays SS prospect Brandon Willie Martin arrested in dual-murder case

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Brandon Willie Martin, a former shortstop prospect theTampa Bay Rayspicked in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft, was arrested Friday as a suspect in the shooting murders of his father and another man and the wounding of his uncle.

According to multiple reports,Martin, 22, was captured in Corona, California, a suburban city 30 miles east of Los Angeles, after he attempted to evade police in a truck that had belonged to one of the victims.

Martin was reportedly recognized by an off-duty officer, who alerted police to his whereabouts.

Martin was taken into custody in a backyard after a chase on foot in which he was bitten and stopped by a police dog, Corona police said, according to reports.

Martin is a suspect in the killing of his 64-year-old father,Michael Martin, and a 62-year-old acquaintance, Barry Swanson, on Thursday. He is also a suspect in the shooting of his 51-year-old uncle, Ricky Lee Anderson, who is on life support with critical injuries, according to reports.

Martin had reportedly been the subject of a restraining order that required him to stay away from family members. A history of violent and abusive behavior was alleged, reports say.

Martin, who last played professionally in 2013, was chosen 38th overall in the 2011 draft by the Rays. His contract included an $860,000 signing bonus.

Martin was ranked in 2012 as the best defensive infielder in the Rays' minor league system by BaseballAmerica.com, according to The Riverside Press Enterprise.

Tony Estes, Martin's Little League coach, told The Press Enterprise that even as an 8-year-old Martin appeared to have a promising future in baseball.

"He was better than the 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds," Estes told the newspaper.

Estes lives across the street from the house where Martin was caught and arrested, according to The Press Enterprise.

"It's a very sad thing," Estes said.