Black Teen Gets 65 Years For Death Of Friend Murdered By Police

Lakeith Smith was sentenced to 65 years for a murder he did not commit under Alabama’s Accomplice Liability Law.

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We need justice for Lakeith Smith. This could be your child, grandchild, brother, cousin, nephew or friend.

Lakeith Smith received 30 years for murder, 15 years for burglary, and 10 years each for two theft convictions, to be served back to back.

An Alabama teenager has been sentenced to 65 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.

18-year-old Lakeith Smith was convicted of killing his friend A’Donte Washington. Smith was offered a plea deal of 25 years but didn’t accept it, receiving 65 years instead.

However, Smith didn’t commit the crime he is being charged for. The charges stem from an incident that occurred in 2015 when Smith, then 15, broke into two homes with four other teens in Millbrook, Alabama. Midway through the robbery police arrived and a shootout occurred between the teens and officers. Washington fatally shot during the altercation.


Although Smith didn’t shoot Washington, he was still charged with the murder of his friend as an adult under Alabama’s accomplice liability laws. Because of the laws, Smith “is legally liable for the behavior of another who commits a criminal offense if that person aids or abets the first person in committing the offense.”

The officer who fired the fatal shots at the 16-year-old, however, was cleared of all charges by a grand jury.

Smith received 30 years for murder, 15 years for burglary, and 10 years each for two theft convictions, to be served back to back. Upon receiving the sentencing from Judge Sibley Reynolds, the teen reportedly laughed in response.

“I don’t think Mr. Smith will be smiling long when he gets to prison,” District Attorney C.J. Robinson said. “We are very pleased with this sentence. Because the sentences are consecutive, it will be a long time before he comes up for even the possibility for parole, at least 20 to 25 years.”


However, Smith’s lawyer, Jennifer Holton, argued that the teen didn’t deserve the severe punishment.

“The officer shot A’Donte, not Lakeith Smith,” she said. “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.”

Earlier this year, Smith’s sentence was reduced to 55 years by the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Over 90,000 people have signed a petition asking the United States Supreme Court to reconsider Smith’s sentence. According to the petition, the officer involved in Washington’s death remains anonymous.


Lakeith Smith, now 20, was charged with the murder of his friend, A’Donte Washington when he was only 15— a crime he did not commit. A’donte died at the hands of a policeman, after the police fired 4 rounds into him – and he currently walks free.

Smith, Washington, and a few other boys were participating in two break-ins of Millbrook homes in 2015. When authorities were called, there was a alleged shoot-out between Washington and the unnamed officer. Lakeith, the one charged, was found described as “scared” and “hidden.” Ultimately, A’Donte Washington was shot and killed by the officer. 

Despite Lakeith not having any participation in the shoot-out, under Alabama’s accomplice liability law that states, Smith and the other three men participating in the break-ins were found liable for the death of Washington. He was tried as an adult and was sentenced to 65 years in prison (which only recently got reduced to 55). The unnamed police officer who fired four shots into Washington walked free and remains anonymous. Smith did not participate in the act that ended A’Donte Washington’s life. Both men need their justice!