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Godmother: Killer manipulated victim

Lamarie Smith sentenced to 19 to 24.5 years in prison

Staff photos / Ed Runyan Lamarie K. Smith, 24, is seen speaking to Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court during Smith’s sentencing hearing Monday. He got 19 to 24.5 years in prison for killing DeeAnna L. Summers, 29, of the Charleston, W.Va., area Feb. 29 at his home on Victor Avenue on the East Side. He said her fatal injuries happened during a fight.

Angel Mitchell, godmother of DeeAnna L. Summers, 29, is seen during the sentencing hearing for Lamarie K. Smith, 24, of Youngstown during Smith’s sentencing hearing Monday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

YOUNGSTOWN — Angel Mitchell, godmother of DeeAnna L. Summers, 29, told Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge R. Scott Krichbaum Monday that Lamarie K. Smith, 24, manipulated Summers and tried to manipulate Mitchell and other family members over the time that Summers and Smith were together.

In November, Smith called Summers’ family in the Charleston, W.Va., area, and said he was coming to Mitchell’s home “to shoot it up, set it on fire or come in and kill us all,” said Mitchell, who said she raised Summers most of Summers’ life.

“We sat all day watching our Ring doorbell on a 75-inch TV so we could see him if he came around,” she said at Smith’s sentencing hearing.

Krichbaum gave Smith the 19 to 24.5 years in prison that was part of Smith’s plea agreement, despite Smith asking that he be allowed to rescind his guilty plea. The judge denied the motion.

Smith pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and felonious assault in Summers’ Feb. 29 death.

Youngstown police said they were called to Smith’s home on Victor Avenue on the East Side on Feb. 29 and that Smith said he was in a fight with Summers and she was not breathing.

Summers later died at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.

Mitchell said the day Summers was killed, Smith called or texted a person 11 times, and that person showed up at the home where Smith assaulted Summers to death.

“He left a mother with two kids without a mother, a family without a daughter,” Mitchell said of Smith. “Make no mistake about it, there was nothing involuntary about what he did,” she said of the charges Smith pleaded guilty to in the case.

Mitchell said the 19 to 24.5-year sentence was not enough. Smith was controlling, Mitchell said. When Summers came home to West Virginia, she “constantly had to be on FaceTime with him so he could see everything she was doing,” she said.

Mitchell said Smith took advantage of Summers’ vulnerabilities that stemmed from Summers’ biological mother not always being in her life and her father not being involved in her life. She said Smith is 6-foot-3, and Summers was 4-foot-11. Summers’ funeral was a closed casket because of the beating she took, Mitchell said.

Smith said he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea because there were facts about his case that his attorney, Michael Kivlighen, did not tell him.

He also challenged the allegations Mitchell made during her remarks, saying “I told her she didn’t have to come here (Youngstown), that if she wanted to come, she could. I never forced her to. I do not have a way to West Virginia,” he said of the allegations that he had threatened to go to West Virginia and harm Summers’ family.

Prosecutors say there was a police report and body camera video in West Virginia related to a fight between Smith and Summers at a hotel in that state. Summers said Smith had made threatening remakes at that time, said Jennifer Bonish, assistant county prosecutor.

“I told her to go be with her kids if that is what she wanted to do,” Smith told the judge. “I never made her do things she didn’t want to do.” He added, “What happened was not something done purposefully or knowingly. Because I wasn’t able to understand that, even though she hit me, I shouldn’t be slapping her back. Now I have to face 19 years of my life gone.”

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