Andrew Smith sentenced to life in prison for murder of Prentiss Britton
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A Shreveport man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of another man outside an apartment complex in the Martin Luther King neighborhood last May.
Andrew Smith, now 20, was found guilty on Thursday of second-degree murder of 21-tyear-old Prentiss "Tyree" Britton.
"It was a brutal murder," said Caddo Prosecutor George Winston. He told the jury during closing arguments that the murder was about, "stupid foolish pride".
Smith opened fire on Britton in what his defense attorney, Kevin Berg described as a fit of rage after Britton reportedly beat Smith up because he believed Smith had broken into his apartment. More than 2 dozen shots were fired, and Britton was struck 16 times. The final and fatal shot came when Smith walked away, only to return and shoot Britton one last time at close range.
The entire incident was caught on surveillance video, which was shown to the jury during the four-day trial.
"It was very difficult and we warned the family from the beginning it would be very graphic and it was also very novel because it's not usual you have video coverage of a homicide like that," said Winston.
Berg didn't deny that his client is in the video, but told the jury to consider that Smith was reacting to the alleged attack, and did not have time to calm down. For that reason, Berg asked the jury to consider a lesser conviction of manslaughter.
"It's a law we have to allow for instances where someone acts in the heat of passion, they're not rationale, and as I told the jury we're not talking about justification we're talking about provocation," said Berg.
The jury deliberated for just over 2 hours on Thursday, asking to see the video again before returning a guilty verdict on the charge of second degree murder.
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