Lakeith Smith teen convicted in accomplice law killing turns down 25-year plea offer, gets 65 instead.
Lakeith Smith, 18, was sentenced by Circuit Judge Sibley Reynolds for his role in the crimes. Smith was convicted in March, following a two-day trial. Reynolds handed down a 30-year sentence for felony murder, a 15-year sentence for burglary and two 10-year sentences for the two theft convictions. Reynolds then ordered the sentences to be served consecutively.
Lakeith Smith smiled and laughed through the sentencing, said C.J. Robinson, chief assistant district attorney. Lakeith Smith flashed a broad smile as he was being led out of the courtroom in March shortly after the verdicts were announced. Lakeith Smith, midtrial, turned down a plea offer that included a recommend sentence of 25 years on all charges.
“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.”
Lakeith Smith was charged under Alabama’s accomplice law, which holds co-defendants can be guilty of murder if a death occurs when they are committing a crime, even if the accomplice is not the person who directly caused the death.
Five people broke into two homes in Millbrook on Feb. 23, 2015. Lakeith Smith was part of that group. Millbrook police officers responded to a call of a burglary in progress. One of the co-defendants began shooting at an officer as he entered the home. Testimony brought out that several of the co-defendants fired at the officer. The suspects left the home and ran into the backyard, still firing at the officer.
A’Donte Washington, 16, also of Montgomery, ran out of the backyard through a gate in the privacy fence. Police officer body camera footage played in court during Lakeith Smith’s trial showed he was armed with a 38 cal. revolver. Washington ran toward another officer, pointing the gun at the officer, the footage shows. The officer fired his sidearm four times, striking and killing Washington.
It was Washington’s death that Lakeith Smith was charged with. An Elmore County grand jury cleared the officer that fired the fatal shots.
The other co-defendants in the case; Jhavarske Jackson, 23, Jadarien Hardy, 22 and La’Anthony Washington, 22, all of Montgomery, entered guilty pleas on charges of felony murder, burglary and theft, courthouse records show. They await sentencing.