Killough, family deserve justice

Published 4:02 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On Tuesday, justice was served — again.

Thomas Wesley Smith, who confessed to the murder of Tracy Lowery Killough, was sentenced to 90 years for murder and 15 years for burglary in 1999. On Tuesday, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles denied his bid for parole for a second time.

We applaud the board’s decision, which ensures that Smith will serve at least five more years of his 105-year prison sentence.

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He’s eligible for parole again in 2017.

Robert Longshore, a member of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, said he believes the 105-year sentence handed down to Smith was a clear message sent by the court as to the severity of the crime.

We agree.

Smith brutally murdered Killough in an upstairs bedroom of her home while two of her three small children were downstairs.

Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden, the chief investigator for the BCSO at the time and one of the first officers to arrive on the scene, called it one of the most brutal crimes he has ever investigated.

He said Smith stabbed Killough more than 20 times.

For that heinous act, Smith should serve all 105 years of his sentence.

He not only took the life of a young mother, but he forever changed the lives of everyone who knew her, including her stepdaughter Shanna Killough who on Tuesday addressed the Board of Pardons and Paroles on behalf of the family.

She told the board that Smith had changed her life for the worse.

She said that after what she witnessed she has no hope of ever living a normal life.

She mentioned how hard it is knowing that every five years Smith would be considered for parole and could possibly be released from prison.

Tracy Killough was the victim of a senseless crime.

So were the members of her family that loved her and had her tragically taken from them by a man who was willing to take her life simply because she caught him in the act of burglarizing her home.

Tracy Killough and her family deserve justice.

They deserve for Thomas Wesley Smith to serve his full term behind bars.