Jury unable to reach a verdict on second degree murder in Springfield shooting
Guilty verdict to lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - After deliberating a total of six hours, a Windsor County jury returned a guilty verdict to a lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter against Springfield resident Greg Smith just before noon on Tuesday.
Smith, who admitted fatally shooting Wesley Wing near Jake's Market on South Street in Springfield on the afternoon of April 18, 2015, will now face a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison when it comes time for his formal sentencing later this year.
Prosecutors had argued that Smith drove up and "executed" Wing in broad daylight, firing from his car while Wing was still several feet away from him on a sidewalk but Smith had claimed that he acted in self-defense after Wing reached through the open window of his car and sucker punched him twice before shoving his head into the steering wheel in what he said was an unprovoked attack.
Smith, 32, has already spent nearly three years in pre-trial detention since his arrest and he will get credit for that time off of his overall sentence once it is formally imposed.
Greg Smith stands as the jury comes back into the courtroom to announce its verdict on Tuesday morning
Smith had been facing a presumptive 20-year-to-life sentence if he were to have been convicted of the second-degree murder charge the state had filed against him; however, the foreperson of the jury explained to Judge Timothy Tomasi that the jurors were "unable to decide" on that particular charge and therefore stepped it down a peg to voluntary manslaughter.
The announcement stunned members of Wing's family, causing his mother Terry Wing to bolt out of the courthouse moments later saying "Murderer! Murderer!" to herself but the verdict also disappointed Smith's defense team which had argued he'd acted in self-defense when he shot Wing five times at close range. Had the jury entirely agreed with that contention then Smith presumably would have walked out of the courthouse on Tuesday as a free man.
Wesley Wing's mother, Terry, doubled over as the jurors announced they could not agree on the second-degree murder charge against Smith
With tears streaming down her face, Wing's widow Sheila told reporters the outcome was "just not what I expected."
"It's just not the closure that our family has been praying for," Sheila Wing continued. "We just expected this to come out differently. Wes was great and we all miss him. He was a great dad, a great husband, a great provider. I just can't say enough about how great he was. He is just deeply missed by all of us."
Prosecutors Ultan Doyle and Adam Korn comforted Wing's oldest daughter Brooke and his widow Sheila after the verdict
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