CONVICTED MURDERER SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS FOR MALICIOUS WOUNDING OF A CORRECTIONS OFFICER
On February 11th, 2014, Elbert Smith, 42, was found guilty by a jury in the Buchanan County Circuit Court pertaining to his indictment for malicious wounding.
During the trial, the Commonwealth introduced evidence and testimony that while incarcerated at Keene Mountain Correctional Center for his prior Murder and Cocaine Distribution convictions, Smith, who was unprovoked, struck a corrections officer in the face breaking his nose. The evidence also showed that Smith repeatedly shoved the corrections officer’s head into a solid concrete wall.
It took the jury only four minutes to find Smith guilty as charged. During the sentencing phase, the Commonwealth argued for a sentence of 20 years incarceration, the maximum punishment allowed by law, due to Smith’s violent criminal history and the viciousness of the attack.
After hearing all of the evidence and argument, the jury recommended a sentence of 10 years of imprisonment. Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Arrington said that he was “pleased with the jury’s finding of guilt and we appreciated their service.” Arrington further stated that, “the Commonwealth asked the jury for the maximum punishment because of Smith’s prior murder conviction and because of the serious injuries sustained by the corrections officer.”
After receiving the jury’s sentencing recommendation the Honorable Patrick Johnson ordered a pre-sentence investigation as required by law, and Smith will be sentenced on May 21st, 2014.