Murder conviction, life sentence of Warner Robins woman upheld

bpurser@macon.comApril 22, 2014 

A tearful Ebony Passion Smith tries to talk with relatives as she is escorted from the courtroom August 2013 after being sentenced to life in prison in her husband’s 2011 killing.

BEAU CABELL — bcabell@macon.com

WARNER ROBINS -- The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the conviction and life sentence of a Warner Robins woman who killed her husband a few hours after she was served with divorce papers.

In August 2013, a Houston County jury convicted Ebony Passion Smith of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and possession of a firearm during a crime after a 2 1/2-day trial.

Superior Court Judge Edward D. Lukemire sentenced Smith to life with the possibility of parole. She is expected to serve 30 years before she is eligible for parole consideration, according to state sentencing guidelines.

The state Supreme Court’s ruling was among opinions published Tuesday.

Smith gunned down her 30-year-old husband, a C-130 aircraft mechanic at Robins Air Force Base, in the hallway bathroom of their home July 15, 2011, with his .40-caliber handgun.

He died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen. Bullets also struck his left hand, right arm and right leg.

When reaching a verdict, Houston County jurors rejected an alternative charge of voluntary manslaughter. The defense contended that Smith was guilty of killing her husband but not of murder, having acted in a moment of passion when her husband would not tell her where he’d taken their daughter, who was 4 at the time. Smith was seeking custody of the girl, and the couple had argued about that earlier in the day when Smith was served with divorce papers.

Brian and Ebony Smith had been married for four years. Besides the child they had together, Ebony Smith also has a son from a previous relationship. He was 10 at the time of the slaying. The children were not at home when Brian Smith was killed.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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