LaKeith Smith (259859)

A judge in Alabama sentenced a teen to 65 years in prison last week for a series of crimes, including murder, despite the fact that a cop was the one who killed the victim, reports the Huffington Post. Eighteen-year old Lakeith Smith was convicted under Alabama’s accomplice liability law last month. According to that law, a person can be convicted of felony murder if he or she committed a crime with the deceased that led to the other person’s demise. Many states have similar laws. Smith was reportedly involved in a burglary with A’Donte Washington, 16, when a police officer shot and killed Washington. According to USA Today, Smith and Washington were part of a gang of five who broke into homes in Millbrook, Alabama. When police responded, the two side exchanged gunfire.

Washington was killed in the exchange. Circuit Judge Sibley Reynolds sentenced Smith to 65 years in prison on Thursday — 30 years for a felony murder, 15 for burglary and two 10-year sentences for theft. “The officer shot A’donte, not Lakeith Smith,” said Smith’s attorney, Jennifer Holton, during the trial. “Lakeith was a 15-year-old child, scared to death. He did not participate in the act that caused the death of A’donte. He never shot anybody.” Though Smith was a minor when the incident took place, he was tried as an adult. In March, Smith declined a plea deal that would have sentenced him to 25 years in prison; he was convicted later that month. The other three defendants involved in the burglaries all entered plea deals. One has been sentenced to 28 years in prison, while the other two have not yet been sentenced. And as for the Millbrook police officer who actually killed Washington, a grand jury cleared him of any wrongdoing back in 2016, saying he was justified in the fatal shooting of Washington.