Man sentenced to 100 years in prison for causing Indian-origin girl’s death in US

PTI, Mar 26, 2023, 11:52 AM IST

A 35-year-old man has been sentenced to 100 years of hard labour for causing the death of a 5-year-old Indian-origin girl in the US state of Louisiana in 2021, according to local media reports. Joseph Lee Smith from Shreveport was sentenced following his conviction in January of the killing of Mya Patel, local news media outlets like KSLA News 12 and the Shreveport Times reported. Patel was playing in a hotel room on Monkhouse Drive when a bullet entered her room and struck her in the head. Patel was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she battled for three days and was pronounced dead on March 23, 2021.

During Smith’s trial, it was revealed to the jury that Smith got into an altercation with another man in the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel.

The hotel was owned and operated at that time by Vimal and Snehal Patel, who lived in a ground-floor unit with Mya and a younger sibling.

During the altercation, Smith struck the other man with a 9-mm handgun, which discharged. The bullet missed the other man but went into the hotel room and struck Patel in the head before grazing her mother.

District Judge John D Mosely sentenced Smith to 60 years at hard labour without the benefit of probation, parole or reduction of sentence in connection with the March 2021 slaying of Mya Patel, reports said.

Smith also must serve 20 years for obstruction of justice and 20 years for aggravated battery, for separate convictions associated with Patel’s slaying. Those terms must also be served without the benefit of probation, parole or reduction of sentence, the reports said.

On Thursday, the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office said: ”the terms were enhanced by Smith being a repeat felony offender and must be served consecutively, for a total of 100 years.”

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