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Killer Of Oakland Mom, Toddler To ‘Die In State Prison’

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Curtis Martin III

Curtis Martin III (Oakland Police Dept.)

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) - An Oakland man who killed three people, including two young boys, received his day of judgment when he was sentenced Friday to six consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Vernon Nakahara said Curtis Martin III, 41, “will die in state prison and not be released in the future.”

Nakahara sentenced Martin for murdering 17-month-old Jashon Williams and the boy’s mother, 23-year-old Zoelina Toney, in the fall of 2009.

On July 19, during jury selection for his trial, Martin pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for killing Jashon and to first-degree murder for killing Toney.

In addition, Martin pleaded guilty to three special-circumstance murder allegations: murdering Toney because she was a witness to the murder of her son, lying in wait, and committing multiple murders.

Nakahara also took into account Martin’s prior criminal history, which includes three prior felony convictions: a 1994 voluntary manslaughter conviction for the death of the 3-year-old son of his girlfriend at the time, a 1992 conviction for possession of an assault weapon and a 1988 conviction for first-degree robbery.

Because two of Martin’s previous convictions were considered strikes for sentencing purposes, Judge Nakahara tripled the two life terms he faced for murdering Jashon and Toney, giving him a total of six life terms plus another 55 years to life.

The criminal complaint said Jashon was killed sometime between Oct. 25, 2009, and Nov. 8, 2009, and prosecutor Tim Wellman said the killing most likely occurred on Oct. 31 or Nov. 1.

Authorities said that after Martin killed Jashon, he dumped the boy into San Francisco Bay. His decomposed body was found on Nov. 15, 2009, at the Berkeley Marina.

Martin killed Toney on Nov. 13, 2009, by shooting and bludgeoning her. Toney’s body was found in the Aquatic Park, along the shoreline east of Interstate 80 in Berkeley, about 4 a.m. that day.

Wellman said Friday, “It’s time to close the book on the violent, murderous and unrepentant life of Curtis Martin.”

Brenda Lewis, a family member of Jashon and Toney, said their deaths were “violent and brutal” and Martin “had no feelings for human kind.”

Referring to Martin’s sentencing, Lewis said, “This will not be his last judgment – he will have to stand before Jesus and answer for killing those babies. He will have to answer to God.”

Martin had previously been charged with murder for the Feb. 11, 1994, death of 3-year-old Devin Brewer, who was the son of his girlfriend.

The probable cause statement in that case said the boy died of blunt force trauma to the head, and his mother reported that he had suffered several burns and blunt force injuries in the weeks prior to his death.

However, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office agreed to a plea deal that called for Martin to plead no contest to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter and be sentenced to 11 years in state prison.

Martin was paroled from state prison on Sept. 7, 2000, after serving only about six years.

Devin Brewer’s mother, Kianna Reynolds, asked Martin Friday, “Why did you kill my son?”

Reynolds told Martin, “They let you go free and then you killed others.”

She asked him “What gives you the balls to kill anyone?”

Devin’s father, Jo Jo Reynolds, asked Martin, “What could a 3-year-old boy have done to you to make you hurt and kill him? What did my son do?”

Martin didn’t address the court at his hearing Friday but he became upset when Kianna Reynolds spoke.

Martin began talking back to Reynolds and when Nakahara told him to stop talking Martin told the judge “be quiet.”

Martin also became upset when his mother, Shawna Martin spoke and alleged that Reynolds “was the abusive one” in their relationship.

He told his mother, “Sit down” and she stopped talking.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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