Categories: News

Teenager Lakeith Smith Sentenced To 65 Years For Death Of Friend Killed By Cop

Lakeith Smith received 30 years for murder, 15 years for burglary, and 10 years each for two theft convictions, to be served back to back.

An Alabama teenager has been sentenced to 65 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.

In a report from USA Today, 18-year-old Lakeith Smith was convicted of killing his friend A’Donte Washington. Smith was offered a plea deal of 25 years but didn’t accept it, receiving 65 years instead.

However, Smith didn’t commit the crime he is being charged for. The charges stem from an incident that occurred in 2015 when Smith, then 15, broke into two homes with four other teens in Millbrook, Alabama. Midway through the robbery police arrived and a shootout occurred between the teens and officers. Washington fatally shot during the altercation.

Although Smith didn’t shoot Washington, he was still charged with the murder of his friend as an adult under Alabama’s accomplice liability laws. Because of the laws, Smith “is legally liable for the behavior of another who commits a criminal offense if that person aids or abets the first person in committing the offense.”

The officer who fired the fatal shots at the 16-year-old, however, was cleared of all charges by a grand jury.

Smith received 30 years for murder, 15 years for burglary, and 10 years each for two theft convictions, to be served back to back. Upon receiving the sentencing from Judge Sibley Reynolds, the teen reportedly laughed in response.

“I don’t think Mr. Smith will be smiling long when he gets to prison,” District Attorney C.J. Robinson said. “We are very pleased with this sentence. Because the sentences are consecutive, it will be a long time before he comes up for even the possibility for parole, at least 20 to 25 years.”

However, Smith’s lawyer, Jennifer Holton, argued that the teen didn’t deserve the severe punishment.

“The officer shot A’Donte, not Lakeith Smith,” she said. “Lakeith was a 15-year-old child, scared to death. He did not participate in the act that caused the death of A’Donte. He never shot anybody.”

Earlier this year, Smith’s sentence was reduced to 55 years by the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Over 90,000 people have signed a Change.org petition asking the United States Supreme Court to reconsider Smith’s sentence. According to the petition, the officer involved in Washington’s death remains anonymous.

NOTE: This article was updated on June 16, 2020.

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

Share
Published by
Elijah C. Watson

Recent Posts

Best Songs of The Week: ft. Kari Faux, Lil Yachty and More

The Round-Up is Okayplayer’s weekly playlist of the best songs in the worlds of hip-hop… Read More

January 27, 2023

‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Family Guy’ and ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Gets Extension for Two Additional Seasons

Fox has given two-season renewals to animated favorites The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob's Burgers… Read More

January 27, 2023

Consequence Says He’s ‘Disgusted’ With Pusha T Cutting Ties With Kanye West

In an interview with The Art of Dialogue, longtime G.O.O.D. Music act Consequence accused Pusha… Read More

January 27, 2023

A Book On Erykah Badu Album ‘New Amerykah Part Two’ Is Coming in 2024

Written by Karmeryn Alexa Carter, a book on 2020 Erykah Badu album New Amerykah Part Two… Read More

January 27, 2023

7 New Hip-Hop & Neo-Soul Albums You Should Be Listening To (Week of January 27)

Styles P and Lil Yachty have dropped projects on this New Music Friday. Additional releases… Read More

January 27, 2023

Eddie Murphy Talks About Being Snowed in with Rick James for Two Weeks

While on Jimmy Kimmel Live! promoting his new Netflix film You People, Eddie Murphy discussed… Read More

January 27, 2023