FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2016
COVINGTON—A St. Tammany Parish judge sentenced Michael G. Smith, Jr., 24, of Slidell, to 60 years in prison Tuesday (July 19) for shooting to death the son of his father’s girlfriend. District Judge Reginald T. Badeaux issued the sentence after Smith pleaded guilty to manslaughter and armed robbery with a firearm.
Smith is accused of killing Warren Pryor, 21, who lived in Slidell with his mother and her boyfriend, Michael G. Smith, Sr. Pryor’s body was found on Jan. 7, 2013, at 11 p.m. with gunshot wounds to the head and one to the right hand in the parking lot of Chase Bank on Gause Boulevard. Pryor’s burned car was found in New Orleans, but shell casings located in the house where Pryor lived matched those found in his car. Dried blood found on Smith Jr.’s pants also matched Pryor’s. Smith Jr. initially claimed that he shot Pryor in self-defense, but ballistics tests proved that theory to be implausible.
The day before the Slidell shooting, Smith Jr. had shot a man to death in New Orleans and also claimed self-defense. But the ballistics tests showed the bullets in both cases came from the same gun. Smith Jr. also pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the New Orleans killing and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. His sentence in the St. Tammany case is to run concurrently.
Smith Jr. was set for trial next week. Assistant District Attorney John Alford handled the plea agreement.