Laurel County constable found guilty of reckless homicide

Published: Mar. 15, 2017 at 8:05 PM EDT
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A jury has found Laurel County Constable Bobby Joe Smith guilty of reckless homicide, and recommended a one year sentence for him.

The verdict came after just over an hour of deliberation, and after Smith took the stand in his own defense.

Smith shot and killed Brandon Stanley on March 4, 2016 inside the A and B Quick Stop in East Bernstadt. Smith was there trying to serve a warrant on Stanley.

Smith took the stand in his own defense as the final witness in the trial that started Tuesday. Smith said he was scared for his life when he went into the store and Stanley ignored commands for him to stop. Smith said it appeared that Stanley had something in his hands as he raised his arms.

"Why did you shoot Brandon Stanley, at this point?" Smith's attorney asked him.

"I had no choice, I was as far as I could go, If I didn't shoot at that time, I was going to die. I was scared to death. I was scared to death I was going to die. And everybody in that store," the constable said.

The jury had the options of manslaughter, reckless homicide, or not guilty.