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State Supreme Court upholds Houston County woman's murder conviction, life in prison sentence

The Supreme Court of Georgia upheld a murder conviction for a woman who authorities say killed her husband almost three years ago.

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Supreme Court of Georgia upheld a murder conviction for a woman who authorities say killed her husband almost three years ago.

Ebony Passion Smith appealed her case all the way to the high court. According to the opinion released Tuesday written by Justice Keith Blackwell, Smith asked the justices to reconsider her request for a trial by a judge.

Smith was tried by a Houston County jury in August of 2013 and found guilty of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The opinion states Smith insisted she by tried by a judge, but the state insisted she be tried by a jury. A cause upheld by the high court almost eight years ago allows the state to insist an accused by tried by a jury, even though the accused would prefer to be tried by a judge. Because of that, Smith was tried by a jury.

In the opinion, the Supreme Court of Georgia said there is no compelling reason to reconsider her appeal to have a trial by a judge.

41NBC reported back in July of 2011, Warner Robins police arrested Smith after officers said she shot and killed her husband, 30-year-old Brian Smith. Authorities said she then tried to kill herself. She was charged with felony murder.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections website, Smith is currently serving her life sentence at the Arrendale State Prison and she is charged with murder. She also served five consecutive years on probation for possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony


 
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