The sentence includes no possibility of parole.
A Frederick man will be spending the rest of his life in prison for 1st-degree murder. Melvin "Rock" Smith, 28, was sentenced on Thursday to life without parole, plus 40 years for the murder of his former girlfriend.
Melvin Smith was convicted in June of this year for the July, 2011 shooting death of Tranice Richardson, 33, of Frederick. She was fatally shot seven times outside of her apartment along Orchard Terrace in Frederick, while her young son, Keanan, was watching. "This wasn't just a 1st-degree murder where somebody shot somebody once," says State's Attorney Charlie Smith. "He stalked her for days preceding this. She pleaded for her life, and then he shot her, put her to death, murdered her in cold blood right in front of her kid."
Charlie Smith says he's satisfied with the sentenced, but believes Melvin Smith should have received a much harsher sentence because he shows no remorse for what he did. "This is really the worst of the worst. He deserved the worst sentence possible, but that's all we could get. In my opinion, the death penalty should be on the table," he says. Capital punishment is currently on hold in Maryland.
Prior to the proceedings on Thursday, Circuit Court Judge Theresa Adams had to take care of a request from Melvin Smith. Charlie Smith says Melvin Smith had asked that he not be in the courtroom while sentencing was taking place. When Judge Adams asked him why, Melvin Smith said he didn't have to say why. So Melvin Smith was sentenced in absentia. "He should have been there," said Charlie Smith. "He should have been required to sit there and listen to what the victims had to say about the murder of their mother, and he was not required to do so." Charlie Smith says there isn't any law that requires someone like Melvin Smith to listen to the victims.
Charlie Smith says the court room was packed on Thursday with supporters wearing "Tranice Richardson" tee-shirts.