CANTON – A 17-year-old girl convicted of murdering 22-year-old Michael Morris Jr. last September in Wildwood Park in Louisville will learn this morning how long she will spend in prison.
Stark County Common Pleas Judge Natalie Haupt will sentence Marissa Smith, of Louisville, at 10 a.m. Smith is facing a minimum of 15 years to life in prison.
A jury found her guilty of felony murder and felonious assault on May 12 after four days of testimony from witnesses, Smith’s co-defendant, law enforcement and forensic experts.
According to testimony, a group of teens gathered at the park to fight.
Marissa Smith murder trial day 1: ‘I’m not afraid to die.’ Witnesses describe deadly Louisville park fight at trial
Marissa Smith murder trial day 2: Marissa Smith murder trial: Louisville police recall scene at park, witness interviews
Marissa Smith murder trial day 3: ‘He ran into it.’ Louisville teen tells jury stabbing death of Michael Morris was accident
Marissa Smith murder trail day 4: ‘Guilty all day long.’ Prosecutor tells jury teen doesn’t get a free pass on murder
At some point, Smith took a knife that a co-defendant had in his waistband. Some witnesses testified that Smith moved toward the unarmed Morris, who lived in the Alliance area, while holding the knife and screaming at him. Smith and her friends testified that Morris pulled her toward him and he “walked into” the knife.
The case involving Smith’s 16-year-old co-defendant, who was 15 at the time he was arrested, is pending in the juvenile court system. He’s awaiting a trial in June.
The 16-year-old has pleaded not true, the equivalent of not guilty, to juvenile counts of murder, felonious assault, aggravated criminal trespass and carrying a concealed weapon.
This article originally appeared on The Repository: Marissa Smith sentenced for murder in Stark County
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