Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Corey Smith sentenced to life in prison in slaying

Friday, March 23, 2012 10:23 AM
Last updated Saturday, March 24, 2012 1:50 AM
  • Follow Crime & courts

Corey Smith was sentenced to life in prison without parole after a jury convicted him Friday morning of felony and malice murder.

Back | Next
Corey Smith reacts after being convicted of felony and malice murder in the slaying of Patricia Burley. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Corey Smith reacts after being convicted of felony and malice murder in the slaying of Patricia Burley. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Four days of testimony portrayed Smith as the man who lured Patricia Burley, a 54-year-old woman with Down syndrome, away from her home on Wrightsboro Road and hid her body in an overgrown lot at the dead end of Hall Street in south Augusta.

Smith, 30, maintained his innocence when he took the stand Thursday and his attorney, Penelope Donkar, argued that the case was built mostly on circumstantial evidence.

But Smith couldn’t explain how the DNA of the victim came to be on his shorts, nor could he ignore that his fingerprints were found on the trash can assumed to have transported Burley’s body.

Assistant District Attorney Natalie Paine said life without parole was the only appropriate sentence.

“Not only for justice for Pat Burley, but also for the safety of the community so that no one has to be threatened by Corey Smith again,” Paine said.

In sentencing, Superior Court Judge Michael Annis also took into account the beating of another woman four months before for which Smith is also indicted. That woman, a schizophrenic now undergoing treatment in Statesboro, Ga., was sodomized, beaten with a brick and slashed to the bone with a rusty razor. Smith’s DNA was collected from her body at the hospital.

Annis had little sympathy for a man he said targeted women who are mentally challenged and incapable of defending themselves.

“You brutally beat them, cut them and tortured them,” Annis said. “I’m looking at a very, very dangerous person. I agree that you never need to see the streets again.”

Comments (9) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
raul
4846
Points
raul 03/23/12 - 10:41 am
0
0
Wonder if he had a

Wonder if he had a psychiatric evaluation? He doesn't look quite all there in the pics I've seen. It's in the eyes. Was this a death penalty case?

Swingline1234
0
Points
Swingline1234 03/23/12 - 11:20 am
0
0
He was evaluated and found

He was evaluated and found mentally competant to stand trial- and no this is not a death penalty case.

wondersnevercease
9218
Points
wondersnevercease 03/23/12 - 12:17 pm
0
0
monsters should be
Unpublished

monsters should be killed............................

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 03/23/12 - 01:30 pm
0
0
How do you get two counts for

How do you get two counts for murder when there is only one murder victim? Was that a typo?

raul
4846
Points
raul 03/23/12 - 01:45 pm
0
1
@Swingline. Thanks for the

@Swingline. Thanks for the info

Falconsgirl
170
Points
Falconsgirl 03/23/12 - 05:05 pm
0
0
Felony Murder (Count #1):

Felony Murder (Count #1): When a Homicide is committed due to an act of Aggravated Assault. For example, someone does a "drive-by", which is an Aggravated Assault, the victim gets shot and dies from that gunshot wound.
Malice Murder (Count #2): When a Homicide is committed and there was actual "intent" to kill the victim.

jackrussell
219
Points
jackrussell 03/23/12 - 11:35 pm
1
0
He should've received the

He should've received the death penalty. I hope while in prison he experiences "an eye for an eye" and receives the same treatment he gave Miss Pat.

realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 03/24/12 - 10:28 pm
0
0
jack- from what I know about

jack- from what I know about the statistics, if the victim had been Caucasian, he probably would have. Since the victim was not, it was not a death penalty case...

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 03/25/12 - 12:52 am
0
0
There are several cases every

There are several cases every year that should be death penalty cases, but getting a jury in Richmond County to give it is nearly impossibe. He should've been marched out of the courthouse, and given the same that he gave his victim.

Falconsgirl
170
Points
Falconsgirl 03/26/12 - 09:50 am
0
0
In a normal situation, this

In a normal situation, this case would have been a Death Penalty case. However, due to his mental illness, like it was said in a previous comment above mine, it would have been nearly impossible to have gotten conviction. I was 100% involved in this trial, as I sat in there every day and was the lead on the Assault/Rape case with the surviving victim. At first I was highly upset that Patricia Burley's case was not a Death Penalty case, but then I thought about all the suffering Corey Smith will be dealing with while in the prison system, (as other prisoners really don't take too kindly to rapists. Especially older, mentally handicapped victims.), and I must admit, it puts a smile on my face to imagine what he will be going through. So, this case had nothing to do with the victim(s) being black, white or any other race. It had to do with Corey Smith's mental condition.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs