DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Jury deliberation is underway in the Shawn Smith murder trial. The 26-year old is one of three men accused in a triple shooting back in January 2016 that left 13-month-old Elijah Johnson dead.
The jury, of nine women and three men, began deliberations 9:00 AM Wednesday. During the five day trial, jurors were told the shooting was incited after Isaiah Smith robbed the defendant and Dontay King earlier that day.
The prosecution argued that S. Smith and King were enraged over the robbery and went on a manhunt for Isaiah Smith that night. A gunfight ensued on Queens Avenue while I. Smith was holding the toddler.
Investigators said baby Elijah was caught in the crossfire in what they described as a drive-by style shooting. The Montgomery County deputy coroner testified the child was struck twice, once in the chest and in the foot. Isaiah Smith, the other alleged shooter, and his grandmother were also struck during the gun battle.
Smith is facing two counts of murder, six counts of felonious assault and a weapons charge. If found guilty, he could face up to 79 years in prison.
Smith took the stand in his own defense Tuesday. Stating that he was in fear for his life and claimed self-defense, because he was being fired at first.
“I was actually thinking he would’ve killed me, because while we were in the car he try to shoot the gun and I guess it didn’t go off, I flinched and we kind of ducked and so then he started firing the shots. We were kind of like scared,” S. Smith testified. “I wasn’t really aiming. I mean I really didn’t get a good aim to hit anybody. It happened so fast. Bullets were flying and you’re fearing to get hit.”
Isaiah Smith plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and King is still awaiting trial.