It was a cold-blooded shooting that left a man forever altered, in horrific pain and haunted by nightmares.
Now, James Smith will spend 20 years in prison for the crime.
In May 2014, the victim, J.A., went to the West End neighborhood to meet up with a man he knew as Blue. Blue, later identified as Smith, pointed a gun at J.A. and told him to take off his clothes. When J.A. turned to run, Smith opened fire, shooting J.A. in the side.
The bullet hit J.A’s spine and his intestines. He was immediately immobilized. The injuries have required numerous surgeries, including months of rehabilitation, so he could learn how to walk again. J.A. lost his job, his health, and his sense of security. To this day, he suffers sleep deprivation, flashbacks and nightmares.
Smith was charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action for the shooting. Assistant Circuit Attorney Jennifer Matthew presented the case and in May 2015, a St. Louis jury found Smith guilty of the charges.
Smith is affiliated with a gang and has been classified as prior and persistent offender, having been convicted of two other felonies, including first-degree robbery.
Friday, ACA Matthew recommended Smith spend 20 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for shooting J.A.
The Honorable Judge Edward Sweeney agreed and sentenced Smith to 20 years in prison.