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Killer gets two life terms

Howard Daniel Smith sentenced for murder of Acampo father and son

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Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 5:32 pm, Sat Jan 14, 2012.

At his sentencing Friday, Howard Daniel Smith stood in front of family and friends of the father and son he murdered last year, saying he would never have committed the crime if he had not been high on methamphetamine.

Smith, 34, was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for killing Jonathan Meagher, 49, and his father, William Meagher, 84, on March 25, 2011 when Smith barged into their home on the 24000 block of North Homestead Lane in Acampo.

Smith said he had originally come to take Jonathan Meagher's motorcycle to "get back" at the man because Smith had heard that Jonathan Meagher had called him a thief.

But according to reports, things very quickly took a wrong turn, and after a confrontation that led to Jonathan Meagher's death, Smith shot William Meagher in the back, execution-style.

Sitting in his orange jumpsuit and wearing glasses, Smith rarely looked away from his lawyer, who was sitting to his left.

"I am not going to say sorry, because no one cares," Smith said in a statement prior to his sentencing. "I regret doing what I did. That is why I gave a full confession ... I did what I did and I'm paying for it."

In addition to his sentence, Judge Xapuri Villapudua is requiring Smith to pay a restitution fee of more than $22,000 as well as other fees.

He was also instructed to have no contact with any of the victims' family or friends after Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa notified Villapudua there were rumors Smith had contacted his ex-girlfriend, Lori Ann Irvine, whose boyfriend was shot in the foot during Smith's rampage.

Relatives of the victims originally asked for the death penalty for Smith, but have since said their main priority is to make sure Smith is never again released from prison.

Originally, Smith said he did not want a lawyer to represent him in court, but a judge eventually was able to convince him to accept representation because he faced a potential death sentence.

"We will never get to see (Jonathan) smile again," said a niece of William Meagher. "He was shown mercy today, but justice will be served."

Family members who were in attendance for the sentencing all wore green or black T-shirts that read "Clan Cian," an Irish heritage group in which William Meagher served as a chieftain, or leader.

According to family members, the death of the father and son caused a family legacy to be forever lost, one that has supposedly continued for over 1,000 years.

Both had big hearts, family members said, with Jonathan Meagher being a kid at heart, and William Meagher serving in the military during World War II.

Also, both of the men were proud of their Irish heritage, family members said, but it was William Meagher who would celebrate anything green all year round.

"He used to go to the 99 Cent Store and completely buy the place out around St. Patrick's Day," said Lauren McLachlan, a friend of William Meagher for over 20 years. "He would buy beads and other trinkets to hand out to children. With he and Jonathan gone, that line that had been preserved for so many years is now lost."

Contact reporter Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

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1 comment:

  • Jamie Scarbrough posted at 1:48 pm on Sat, Jan 14, 2012.

    Jamie Scarbrough Posts: 15

    He confessed, so why is he going to sit on my tax dollars execute him and get it over with, the state of California would cut its budge if it would get off its back side and put those on death row to death !!!!



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