MILWAUKEE — The family of 12-year-old Andre Smith, came together to pay their respects Friday. Prosecutors said Smith was killed by his grandfather in late August.
The family said Andre had the potential to be anything he wanted to be. Friday, the message from inside the funeral home is the make sure no other child suffers his tragic fate.
His life will be remembered by many. His casket was draped in colorful flowers - as bright as his personality.
"His dreams mattered. His aspirations mattered. His voice mattered. And if we failed him in his life, we would dignify him in passing,” said Jermaine Reed, a childcare professional who delivered the eulogy.
Andre’s family said he had a bright smile with aspirations to be an entrepreneur and even the president.
Prosecutors said his grandfather, Andrez Martina, beat him and his younger brother last month. Andre was killed and his brother is recovering after being hospitalized.
Andrez Martina now faces life in prison.
"Andre wasn't supposed to go out like that. That's not fair to him or anybody,” Shatya Martina, Andre’s sister, said.
Andre's mother, Nakeda, showed videos of him, happy, dancing, singing and full of personality.
Although, they were not current guardians of Andre and his brother at the time of the incident, both of Andre's parents say they are happy to see the outpouring of support for a boy who spent his life, making others happy.
"He just always wanted to put a smile on people's faces,” Nakeda Martina said.
"He wanted to change the world. He wanted to change lives," said Andre’s father, Yahweh Yahweh.
Andrez Martina is due back in court Sept. 13.