The Jackson man was charged with fatally shooting and sent to trial | Media Pyro


JACKSON, MI — A man accused of a fatal shooting in Jackson before fleeing Michigan has been arraigned.

Leandrew Martin, 44, was arraigned Nov. 4 in circuit court after a preliminary examination before Jackson County District Judge Michael Claren, court officials said. Martin faces charges of open murder and felon in possession of a firearm stemming from the Aug. 28 shooting death of Markithis Thomas-James Smith in Jackson.

Related: Police ID man found with gunshot wound to head outside Jackson party store

A pretrial date will soon be scheduled before Jackson County Circuit Judge John McBain, authorities said. Martin is currently in the Jackson County Jail.

The maximum sentence for open murder is life imprisonment.

In the early morning hours of Aug. 28, officers responded to a report of shots fired in the 200 block of West Biddle Street near the Greenwood Food and Beverage Party Store, according to the Jackson Police Department.

Officers found Smith unresponsive in the street with a gunshot wound to the head, police said. Police said he died immediately.

Police arrested Martin on the morning of September 2 in Jackson, Mississippi, after fleeing more than 900 miles.

The next day, Smith’s friends and family gathered at the site of the shooting to honor him at a vigil, remembering Smith as a “hard-working, loyal” man.

Martin was previously found guilty of nine charges related to a non-fatal shooting outside a club in Jackson, Michigan on February 6, 2019. The Michigan Court of Appeals overturned the conviction in November 2021 after Martin successfully argued that he was denied “effective assistance” from his defense attorney, stating that his attorneys failed to request a jury instruction on self-defense or the protection of others.

Martin will be retried on the previous charges, and trial proceedings will continue in December.

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