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Man accused of shooting 3 senior citizens at Alabama church group meeting sentenced to life without parole

<i>Jefferson County Sheriff</i><br/>Robert Findlay Smith was sentenced to life without parole after shooting 3 senior citizens at an Alabama church group meeting.
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Jefferson County Sheriff
Robert Findlay Smith was sentenced to life without parole after shooting 3 senior citizens at an Alabama church group meeting.

By Rebekah Riess, CNN

Robert Findlay Smith, who was accused of shooting and killing three senior citizens at an Alabama church group’s meeting in June 2022, entered a guilty plea Tuesday for the intentional murder of Jane Pounds, Walter Rainey and Sarah Yeager, according to a news release from the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.

Because Smith “intentionally murdered two or more persons,” his charge was capital murder and his only sentencing options were either life without parole or the death penalty, according to the release.

“This type of senseless murder of three innocent people is certainly a case our office would typically try in front of a jury and seek the death penalty, however, that was not the wish of the three families in this case,” District Attorney Danny Carr said. “After much discussion, thought and prayer the families were unanimous that they would prefer a plea of Guilty to Capital Murder and a Life Without Parole Sentence.”

Pursuant to this plea, there will be no appeal and Smith “will die in prison,” the release said.

“The loss of Jane Pounds, Walter Rainey and Sarah Yeager is incalculable to their families, friends, community and of course their church family. We want to thank the Vestavia Police Department, and the other law enforcement jurisdictions who assisted, for their hard work and dedication to this investigation,” Carr added.

CNN has attempted to reach Smith’s defense attorney, Emory Anthony, for comment.

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