An Alabama teen tried as an adult was sentenced to 65-years in prison after refusing a 25-year plea deal.
Now 18-years-old, Lakeith Smith was convicted of felony murder, burglary and theft, all in connection to a string of two break-ins in Millbrook that ended in an shootout with police. His accomplices fired on officers who returned fire, fatally shooting one of the 5 young thieves.
While Smith did not kill anyone directly, he was accused of being criminally responsible for the acts that led to one teen’s death by way of police shooting, thus falling under Alabama’s accomplice law.
According to USA Today, Judge Sibley Reynolds of Alabama’s 19th Judicial Circuit Court handed down three sentences Thursday, sentences that Smith will serve back to back: 30 years for murder, 15 years for burglary and 10 years each for two theft convictions.
Smith smiled and laughed during the sentencing, according to Chief District Attorney C.J. Robinson.
“I don’t think Mr. Smith will be smiling long when he gets to prison,” 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.”
While Smith was sentenced in the case, his attorney insists that he isn’t guilty and that the police were the ones ultimately who did the killing.
“The officer shot A’donte, not Lakeith Smith,” Smith’s lawyer, Jennifer Holton, said during the trial, referencing A’Donte Washington, the 16-year-old killed by police after aiming a gun at the officers. “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.”