Sentence in 2017 Murder

A Greenwood man pled to a Laurens County Murder yesterday in Laurens County General Sessions Court. 42-year-old Clinton Anthony Smith of Greenwood plead guilty to murder for the 2017 killing of 40-year-old Kimberly Smith, his estranged wife. Circuit Judge Letitia Verdin then handed down a 37-year prison sentence, which must be served day-for-day under South Carolina law, meaning Clinton Smith will not be eligible for parole or early release. He was given credit for 591 days in jail, prior to yesterday’s court appearance.

The State reported that on March 20th, 2017 at about 2:45 pm, Clinton Smith went to the home of his estranged wife Kimberly Smith. This was about four weeks after they had separated, following a dispute. Kimberly Smith was lying in her bed after working the night shift and asked her son to make sure the door to their home was locked as he was leaving. The son went to his older sister’s house across the road.  Later the two heard gunshots and called 911. Law enforcement found the door to the home was kicked in and Kimberly Smith was fatally shot four times. Her son and daughter reported having spotted Clinton Smith’s vehicle leaving the area and had talked with him earlier in the evening.

Greenwood County deputies later found Clinton Smith’s vehicle and arrested him after he confessed to shooting his estranged wife.

Deputy Solicitor Dale Scott prosecuted the case for the state with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigator Walter Bentley and Victim Advocate Rhetta Christian. Clinton Smith was represented by the Laurens County Public Defender’s Office.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff, along with Investigators  Michael Polson and David Staton of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, in securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence. After yesterday’s proceedings, Stumbo said “Kimberly Smith was a devoted mother who was violently taken far too soon from her children, at the hands of the man who should have been protecting them as husband and step-dad.” He added, “My office will continue to stand with our law enforcement partners to aggressively prosecute domestic abusers like Clinton Smith.”

With yesterday’s guilty plea for Murder, additional charges of 1st Degree Burglary and Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime were dismissed.