Smith receives 10-year sentence

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 4, 2007

LINDEN &8212; Terrence Lavell Smith, a former Demopolis police officer who was convicted on two counts of rape in the second degree of a 13-year-old female, was sentenced Monday to 10 years in jail to be served concurrently.

According to District Attorney Greg Griggers, who prosecuted the case, the &8220;most troubling&8221; aspect of the case was the fact Smith was a law enforcement officer and was well aware of the age of the females he encountered while serving crosswalk duty at Demopolis Middle School. Furthermore, Griggers said the case was &8220;difficult&8221; for him to try because he had known and worked with Smith for several years.

Before the case went to trial, Griggers offered an agreement for seven years jail time to forgo a trail. At Monday&8217;s hearing, Griggers asked for 10 years to be served for each charge.

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Jim Parkman, Smith&8217;s attorney, described him as a churchgoing man who loved his children and had devoted the last 10 years to becoming a professional in the law enforcement field.

According to Parkman, the real punishment would be for Smith to be taken away from his family, because he had already lost all hopes of continuing to be in the law enforcement field.

Smith, after hearing both attorneys&8217; requests, said he was &8220;very grateful&8221; for his family&8217;s support and asked for the court&8217;s mercy.

Judge Eddie Hardaway responded by sentencing him to 10 years for each charge, to be served concurrently. He was taken into custody of the Marengo County Sheriff&8217;s Office.

Parkman verbally filed for an appeal, which Hardaway said would be considered.

As for the third charge of rape in the second degree, which the jury was hung on during the trial, Griggers said it would be addressed once an appeal had run its course.

Smith has remained out on his original bond &045; which was set at $60,000, or $20,000 for each charge, upon his release from jail last December &045; since his conviction on Nov. 2.

The victim, who was 13 years old at the time, was not present for the jury&8217;s decision that day. She testified on the first day of the trial to having sexual intercourse with Smith on three different occasions in the fall of 2006 &045; two of which she said occurred in Smith&8217;s personal truck, and one of which occurred in an abandoned cell in the former Demopolis jail building next to the municipal court.

The case came to public view last November when a friend of the victim&8217;s told school authorities about the victim&8217;s relationship with the officer.

The investigation was turned over to the Marengo County Sheriff&8217;s Department once it was determined the case involved a Demopolis police officer. Smith was relieved of his duties at the department after his arrest on Dec. 19, 2006.