Man get 85 years for murder

Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- Ronald E. Smith has been sentenced to spend 85 years in prison for murder and related charges.

The sentence was handed down by Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks Thursday.

''I think that this is the correct sentence for someone who has prior felony sentences and who has had the opportunity not to commit more,'' prosecutor Sue McLean told the Juneau Empire.

Smith, 34, was convicted in December of second-degree murder, first-degree assault and first-degree robbery. The judge levied a prison term of 50 years for murder, 15 years for assault and 20 years for robbery. The sentences are to be served consecutively.

Smith was convicted of beating Kenneth Thomas, 36, to death Jan. 25, 2000. Thomas suffered a depressed skull fracture when Smith robbed him at his trailer in Juneau. The assault charge came from the beating of Alfred Torres, 27, Thomas' half-brother.

Smith and his co-defendant, Rey Joel Soto, got less than $30 and six grams of marijuana from their crime.

Soto, 21, was sentenced March 9 to 45 years in prison. He had no prior record.

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