LaKeith Smith Gets Resentence After Being Convicted For Police Killing His Friend
LaKeith Smith, an Alabama man who was 15 when a police officer shot and killed his friend, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Nearly five years after being sentenced to 65 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit, LaKeith Smith has received a resentence. On Tuesday (March 21), the now-24-year-old Alabama man was sentenced to 30 years in prison, a reduction from the time that he originally received. When Smith was 15, a police officer shot and killed his friend A’Donte Washington, 16, after the two burglarized homes in Millbrook.
Under Alabama’s accomplice liability law, Smith was charged with Washington's 2015 murder. In 2018, Smith received a 65-year prison sentence by Elmore County Circuit Judge Sibley Reynolds. He was convicted of felony murder, two counts of theft, and one count of burglary. Later, an appeals court ruled that Smith's theft sentences should be concurrent, changing the sentence to 55 years.
Per The Middletown Press, the Elmore County courtroom "erupted in angry shouts" when the judge gave the sentence.
“He's not a murderer. He doesn't deserve 55 or 30 years,” Smith's mother, Brontina Smith, said.
District Attorney CJ Robinson, a prosecutor in the case, shared that while there were "no winners" in the case, that Smith should have been given the ability to talk at length about the 2015 incident.
“I do wish I had heard LaKeith stand up and acknowledge that he made a series of choices that resulted in his friends death. Maybe to him he did that, but I’m not sure that message was communicated in court,” Robinson wrote in a text to TMP.