Lakeith Smith was just fifteen years old when he broke into a home with a friend and when police shot and killer his friend he was charged with murder. According to court documents Lakeith Smith and A’Donte Washington broke into a home. When the two were leaving the home a gunfight started between A’Donte Washington and the police officer. Washington was shot and killed during the exchange. Lakeith Smith would be arrested and charged with the murder under the felony murder law and would be convicted and sentenced to sixty five years in prison which was later reduced to fifty five years.
Lakeith Smith 2023 Information
Inmate: SMITH, LAKEITH ANTWON
Institution: ST.CLAIR CORRECTIONAL FAC.
A petition created three days ago calling for the release of Montgomery resident Lakeith Smith, 20, who faces 55 years for crimes committed when he was 15, has topped 100,000 signatures.
The five-year-old case gained national attention in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police.
Smith’s case also involves the killing of a black male, A’Donte Washington, 16, by a police officer. That shooting was ruled justifiable. He was originally sentenced to 65 years, which was lowered to 55 years a year later because of a sentencing technicality.
“As you share posts and speak out after those that were brutally murdered by the justice system, don’t forget about the living that have had their lives taken away from them by the same system. “lakeithsmith is serving a 65 year prison sentence after a police officer killed his friend in racist #alabama @governorkayivey because of the #felonymurderrule which unfairly targets black/brown men and boys,” one Facebook post states.
Smith was arrested following his participation in the break-ins of two Millbrook homes in 2015. During the commission of those crimes, an officer responded to the second home and one of Smith’s accomplices and friend, Washington, allegedly exchanged gunfire with the officer.
Subsequently, Washington, was shot and killed by the officer. Under Alabama’s accomplice liability law, Smith and the other three men participating in the break-ins were found liable for the death of Washington.
The law states a person 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. Alabama is one of 46 states that have a similar version of this law.
The other defendants — Montgomery residents Jadarien Hardy, 22; Jhavarske Jackson, 23; and La’Anthony Washington, 22; — accepted plea agreements for the charges.
Smith took his case to trial, receiving a 30-year sentence for felony murder, 15 years for burglary and 10-year sentences for two theft charges.
“The officer shot A’donte, not Lakeith Smith,” Smith’s lawyer, Jennifer Holton, said during the trial. “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.”
A decision by the Court of Criminal Appeals determined that one of Smith’s 10-year sentences for a theft charge could not be run consecutively with his 15-year sentence for a first-degree burglary conviction. Elmore County Judge Sibley Reynolds moved the sentence to run concurrently, meaning Smith will complete that charge’s sentence while serving time for the others.
Comments attached with signatures call for justice and equality for Smith.
“I’m signing because the punishment should fit the crime and children should be tried as such! This child did not murder his friend…,” one signee wrote.
“Gross display of injustice here,” wrote another
Another petition that was initially created after Smith’s sentencing is regaining momentum now, with nearly 60,000 signatures.
Additionally, an Instagram post made in 2018 by theshaderoom, an account with about 20 million followers, is now resurfacing. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had about 75,000 likes and over 20,000 comments.
Other Alabama cases in which the accomplice law was used included Nathaniel Woods’, who was executed in March.
Woods held no guns and fired no shots the night three Birmingham police officers were killed in 2004, but he was there and thus complicit, according the law.
In April, two young men were charged with the fatal shooting of their friend, Brian Daniels, 17, after allegedly exchanging gunfire with another group.
In June 2019, three Montgomery men were charged with murder after two went to a home for a drug transaction that turned deadly. During the transaction two men tried to rob the other two and got into an exchange of gunfire, killing one. The three remaining men were charged.
Lakeith Smith Now
Lakeith Smith is currently incarcerated at the St Clair Correctional Facility
Lakeith Smith Release Date
Lakeith Smith is not eligible for release until 2070