LA DA Gascón tried to reduce potential sentencing enhancements for mother accused of daughter’s murder


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A California judge this week ordered a South Los Angeles mother to stand trial for allegedly torturing and murdering her 4-year-old daughter in August 2020.

Akira Keyshell Smith, 36, faces charges of murder, child molestation and torture in the death of Eternity Smith.

Smith already has two felony strikes on her record after being convicted of causing bodily harm to a spouse in 2014 and assaulting with a deadly weapon in a separate incident in September 2016.

If Smith is convicted of a third felony for allegedly murdering his daughter, the third strike would carry a minimum sentence of 25 years.

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Assistant District Attorney Jon Hatami, who is prosecuting Smith, told Fox News Digital that Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón attempted to have Smith’s two previous strikes withdrawn on Dec. 7, 2020.

“On December 15, 2020, at a preliminary hearing, I refused to withdraw the strikes. Three days later, George Gascon called me ‘unfit’ and ‘delusional’ and said I would The public can now see all the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing and can [make their] own decision,” Hatami, a frequent critic of Gascón, said Thursday.

“I will continue to do my job by respecting the law, the evidence and doing what is right for the child victim.”

Eternity’s older brother, now 18, testified this week that on August 11, 2020, his mother “slapped and kicked” his sister throughout the day, as well as choking and “kicked her while she was on the ground,” according to the city news service.

“My mom told me to bring her food,” Eternity’s brother said. “She didn’t want any of that.”

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Smith is due back in court on May 18 for his arraignment.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon speaks during a press conference, December 8, 2021, in Los Angeles, California.
(ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

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About two months after Hatami said Gascón had tried to have Smith’s previous strikes withdrawn, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ordered Gascón to comply with the three-strike law.

“The District Attorney’s failure to comply with Three Strikes’ plead and prove requirement is unlawful, as is the requirement for assistant prosecutors to seek dismissal of pending sentence enhancements without legitimate bias” , Chalfant wrote in the preliminary injunction.

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A group trying to recall Gascón told Fox News Digital on Wednesday they had collected more than 400,000 signatures and were closing in on the 566,857 signatures needed by July 6 to put the recall question on a longer ballot. late this year.

Gascón’s office did not respond Thursday to a request for comment regarding Hatami’s urge to drop the strikes against Smith.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.


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