Man gets 2 life terms

Published 11:20 pm Monday, March 6, 2017

Circuit Judge Lex Short recently sentenced a man convicted in August for discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle and two counts of attempted murder to two life sentences and 25 years in prison.

Denarieya Latrex Smith, 24, was charged in 2014 for the crimes.

Evidence at the trial showed that days before the shooting, Smith had an altercation with one of the victims and her brother.

On the day of the shooting, Smith followed Latishia Stallworth as she was driving a 4-year-old relative home from preschool, while Eddie Parker fired shots at her vehicle. Parker, who was 16 years old at the time of the crimes, had pleaded guilty to attempted murder before the trial and received a 20-year sentence.

He testified that Smith told him to shoot at the victim’s car, adding that he knew Smith’s reputation and thought Smith might retaliate against him if he refused. The victim drove into oncoming traffic on South Cotton Street to escape the shooting, and Smith followed her as Parker continued shooting. The victim drove immediately to Andalusia Police Department, where two bullets were recovered from her vehicle.

At the trial, Smith testified in his own behalf, claiming that he was “as surprised as anybody” when Parker began shooting and that he tried to stop the shooting by taking a different route from the victim. Eyewitness testimony showed otherwise – that Smith followed her vehicle as the shooting continued.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Grace Jeter represented the state at trial.

Court records revealed that Smith has three prior felony convictions and had been released from prison two months prior to committing these offenses.

District Attorney Walt Merrell thanked the APD for their investigation saying, “one of the bullets lodged inside the front passenger seat, where the 3-year-old child sat, a few more inches and the innocent child would have been killed.”