Jury splits on shootings

Published 2:40 am Saturday, February 12, 2011

The family of a Brewton couple killed in a 2008 shooting had mixed feelings this week after a jury returned two different decisions in the trial of the man charged in their deaths.
Michael Williams was convicted Wednesday on one count of manslaughter in the shooting death Donna Hall Smith.
But the jury was deadlocked on the charges in the death of Dennis Smith, her husband. The judge declared a mistrial on that charge, said Shannon Odom, brother of Dennis Smith.
“We’re pleased that we did get a conviction,” Odom said. “At least we got some closure.”
Williams’ defense team had argued that he was acting in self-defense.
Sentencing is set for March 21. Odom said the family is hoping for the maximum sentence.
“It doesn’t justify a life for 20 years, but at least he doesn’t get off scot-free,” Odom said.
The Smiths had driven to Williams’ house after the two men had reportedly argued over the phone.
Because witnesses initially told investigators the shootings occurred after an argument about the LSU-Alabama football game, the case made national headlines.

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