Attorney asks for lesser sentence, says client showed remorse by not killing attempted murder victim

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A Columbus man will spend the next 35 years in prison for the attempted murder of a woman he knew

Judge Ben Land sentenced 35-year-old Mario Smith to 45 years, 35 to serve for the brutal 2018 shooting of Gennyce Turner in front of her 3-year-old child inside a Forest Road home.

Land went against the defense’s plea for leniency.

Defense attorney Robert O’Melveny argued for a lighter sentence telling the court his client can be a “better person.”

O’Melveny also argues that Smith showed remorse when he stopped the attack short of killing Turner. Turner was shot twice in the leg, once in the abdomen. After that, she was smothered with a pillow.

That didn’t sit well with Nathan Stewart, the assistant district attorney who was the lead prosecutor.

“As I said in my argument in the court, I find that pretty preposterous,” Stewart said. “That is essentially asking the court to reward someone for not going one step forward and killing someone. There is already a reward for that because he was found guilty of attempted murder and not actual murder. And that changes the sentence. It is preposterous that argument would be brought up.”

O’Mulveny declined to comment after the sentencing.

Smith has a criminal history that goes back more than 15 years. Because of that rap sheet, he was sentenced by Land as a repeat offender.

That means he will spend every day of the 35 years in prison.

The judge sentenced him to the maximum 30 years for shooting Gennyce Turner three times inside a Forest Road home. He then tacked on five additional years on a gun charge.

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