Baltimore man pleads guilty to killing two people in consecutive days in 2021, gets life in prison

  • In US
  • 2023-01-26 15:11:00Z
  • By Baltimore Sun

A Baltimore man on Wednesday admitted fatally shooting a man and a woman on consecutive days in May 2021, and was sentenced to life in prison.

Gerald Smith, 42, pleaded guilty to murder in the killings of Marvis Pollock and Brittany Hayes-Smith, the defendant's estranged wife, on May 2 and May 3 of that year, respectively, the city State's Attorney's Office said in a news release.

A judge handed down two life sentences for Smith for each murder, but ruled that the prison terms be served at the same time.

Smith was represented by an assistant public defender. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment through a spokesperson for the Office of the Public Defender.

Baltimore State's Attorney Ivan Bates denounced the killings in a statement, saying Smith exhibited "no regard for humanity or the law."

"It is apparent to me that he should never be on the streets of our city again," Bates said. "My heart goes out to the families and community members impacted by these devastating acts of violence."

Police linked the separate killings to Smith by analyzing ballistics evidence. Prosecutors said cartridge casings collected as evidence of both homicides were fired by the same handgun.

At about 6:30 p.m. May 2, 2021, officers got alerts from the city's gunshot detection system, Shot Spotter, about potential gunfire in the 2600 block of Fairmount Avenue in Baltimore's Shipley Hill neighborhood.

Police found Pollock, 39, lying in the street with multiple gunshot wounds. Crime scene technicians picked up fired 9mm cartridge casings at the scene.

Medics took him to shock trauma, but Pollock died at the hospital.

Records showed Smith's cellphone was found to be in the area Pollock was found shot around the time of the shooting, prosecutors said.

A nearby convenience store's security camera had video of Smith before the shooting, according to the state's attorney's office news release. The footage showed Smith leave the store, get an object from the car he arrived in and run in the direction of the block Pollock was shot in.

Prosecutors said detectives were still at the scene where Pollock was shot, having already homed in on Smith as a suspect, when they learned he may have been involved in another killing.

A man told police May 3 he found his daughter, Hayes-Smith, unresponsive at a residence in the 2800 block of Clifton Park Terrace. That block is in the Belair-Edison neighborhood and borders Clifton Park.

Medics pronounced Hayes-Smith, 30, dead at the scene. Police said she sustained multiple gunshots.

An online obituary remembered her as a loving mother, daughter and aunt. She loved dancing and worked as a hair stylist, which was her passion.

According to charging documents, Hayes-Smith had previously lived at the residence where she was found dead. She had lived there with her since-estranged husband, Smith.

Friends of Hayes-Smith told detectives they'd seen her leave a sports bar with Smith the night before, while Smith's neighbors recalled seeing his car outside his residence and hearing gunshots. Their marriage was marred by domestic violence, according to charging documents.

Crime scene technicians found spent and non-fired 9mm casings in Smith's residence. Prosecutors said an autopsy revealed Hayes-Smith was shot three times.


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