The man who fired shots in Five Points, striking and paralyzing a University of South Carolina student, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday.
Michael Juan Smith appeared in Federal Court in Columbia for a sentencing hearing on the federal weapons charge in connection the shooting on Oct. 13 in Five Points.
Prosecutors said Smith fired one or two shots that night. In court, they showed surveillance video of Smith in the area, the shooting and Childress falling to the ground. Childress and her family left the courtroom unable to watch the video.
FOX Carolina's Adrian Acosta was in court where he said Smith's defense team argued he fired the shots in self-defense because there was a group there he had had trouble with in the past.
Prosecutors argued the opposite, saying he was jealous of those people because they were talking to the girls he was with and also cited his prior criminal history.
Additionally, the prosecution said Smith's jailhouse phone calls after his arrest indicated more.
They said he knew the calls were recorded and made statements including, "It's not like I killed that *****," and they said he questioned whether Childress was paralyzed.
Additionally, prosecutors said in court that during one call Smith said, "The press is making a big deal about it because she's white."
Prosecutors said Smith was released from jail in March 2013 after another judge gave him a second chance in a burglary case, giving him a suspended sentence instead of the 15-year max.
Acosta said Smith spoke in court, apologizing and said the shooting was an accident and, "My intention was not to hurt anyone."
Smith's state charges have yet to go to trial, but his federal sentence will not be served until after the state's case is concluded. In addition to 10 years in prison, the judge sentenced him to 3 years supervised release. The state prosecutor said they were waiting for the outcome of this case before deciding how they would pursue their own against Smith.
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