Saturday, February 13, 2010

Profoundly Deaf Man Gets 1 Year, Probation In Murder Case

Profoundly Deaf Man Gets 1 Year, Probation In Murder Case

profoundly deaf man charged with first-degree murder has been sentenced after he earlier pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Alex Smith appeared before Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern on Monday.

He was given a six-year sentence that includes 11 months and 29 days of incarceration. Smith will then be on intensive probation for the remainder of the term.

He was directed to live with his sister in the Highway 58 area and must not possess weapons.

He was also told not to come into downtown Chattanooga, and he must complete the Endeavors program.

Attorneys assigned to his case had difficulty communicating with him, and at times a court reporter sat beside him and typed what was being said in court on a screen.

Prosecutor Boyd Patterson at one point said the case had dragged on through "multiple hearings" without getting to a trial. He earlier said Smith was able to give a statement about the case to a detective, and he urged that the trial go forward.

Prosecutor Patterson said the last time Smith was released he fired a shot at a man who was dropping off his child. He said the child witnessed the incident.

Defense attorneys said the victim in that case, Terrence Ware, has since been charged in a federal drug case.

Smith had pleaded guilty in December to gunning down Desmond Foster, who investigators say was trying to get out of his car in East Chattanooga when Smith walked up and opened fire.

Foster tried to escape by climbing back through his car, but fell dead to the pavement, police said.