Greenville man gets 53 years for carjacking

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Greenville man received 53 years in prison for his part in a 2004 carjacking in Wilcox County.

In federal court on Monday, Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Butler Jr. handed down the sentence on Antonio Demond Smith, 22, who was convicted in November 2005 of two counts of conspiracy to commit carjacking, two counts of carjacking and two counts of use of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.

&#8220Basically,” defense attorney Sidney Harrell told The Mobile Press-Register, &#8220the judge maxed him out on everything.”

Prosecutors proved that Smith and Terrence Harrison abducted three people - one Ruth Ann Mendenhall, and two males - and drove his victims 35 miles from Camden to a wooded area outside of Greenville where he shot two of them in the head, but missed a third, leaving all three for dead. All three victims survived, ran three miles to a house, and from there notified police.

Ruth Ann Mendenhall's son, Cedric, owed Smith money for car rims. When Smith and Harrison could not find him, they abducted his mother along with Roosevelt Nicholson and Mack Arthur Hendrieth.

&#8220Smith and his friends shot three people over car rims,” said Deborah J. Rhodes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. &#8220Violent crimes like this one destroy the security of our community and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Harrison pled guilt to carjacking and firearm possession and was sentenced to 20 years. Jurors actually determined that is was Harrison who shot two of the victims. However, both he and Smith were guilty according to the law.

Robert Kent Johnson and Frederk Powell also received prison terms of eight months and a year and eight months, respectively, for knowing about the carjacking but not reporting it.

Rhodes said the combined efforts of the Camden and Pine Hill Police Departments, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the FBI made the successful prosecution possible.

The case was prosecuted under the Project Safe Neighborhood/Alabama I.C.E (Isolate the Criminal Element) initiative, a continuing effort to reduce gun violence in communities around the state.