Seattle man accused of violently attacking and killing man with hammer faced a judge Thursday

34-year-old Christopher Martin, initially charged with first-degree assault and robbery, is now facing first-degree murder and robbery charges.

His attorney pleaded not guilty on his behalf.

Seattle Police say on Jan. 13 Martin hit a man in the head with a hammer and stole his backpack.

The attack happened on Fourth Avenue and Pike Street and was caught on camera by a metro bus.

According to court documents, Martin has an extensive criminal history including five misdemeanor assault convictions.

A spokesperson with the King County Prosecutor’s Office says this tragedy could have been avoided.

“Previously before this King County prosecutors argued that he was a danger, and shouldn’t be released because we were fearful of exactly something like this happening,” said Casey McNerthney, spokesperson, King County Prosecutor’s Office. “Unfortunately, it did and he was violating the terms of his release which prosecutors objected to when this terrible attack happened.”

McNerthney says, back in February of 2022, Martin was charged with second-degree robbery and they initially asked Martin be held on bail.

If convicted of all charges, Martin will face at least twenty years in prison.

Martin’s bail has been set at $3 million and his next court date is on March 2.