Man gets life for suffocating two men in the trunk of a car

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email | facebook
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A Richmond man sentenced to life in prison today for a carjacking, turned double murder. He admitted today to beating two men in Richmond. The victims suffocated in the trunk of a car. A federal judge called the crime "brutal" and the offender "a cold blooded killer."

Judge Henry Hudson sentenced Joseph Thomas Smith to life in prison. He told Smith, "If I could have given you the death penalty I would have imposed it."

Joseph Smith was the mastermind behind a robbery and carjacking gone terribly wrong.

In court Friday, Hudson told Smith: "This is every victim's worst nightmare. I could not image a more brutal crime than yours."

Smith's wife lured Jamal Nasir to a home on Brenton Street in Henrico County with the promise of sex. Once he got inside, he was beaten with a gun, duct taped on the mouth and hands.

Willie Smith was waiting in Nasir's car, he too was beat with a gun, duct taped and thrown in the trunk. The group drove around Richmond, broke into Nasir's home and robbed it. They drove for hours. Nasir could be heard screaming to get out. Joseph Smith and his friends left the car on a gravel road in Caroline County.

It was 79 degrees outside, pitch black in the trunk. They'd been beaten, their hands bound so they were unable to reach for the latch and let themselves out. They both suffocated in the trunk.

Jamal Nasir was a VCU student, one year away from graduating with a business degree. Willie Smith was just 21-years-old.

Sheila Walters is Willie Smith's mother. "Thank god that justice got done today. For each and every one of the persons that did this crime."

Joseph Smith turned to both families in the courtroom this morning and said, quote, "I know this may not mean much to you, but I'm sorry."

Five others involved in the beating and carjacking have already pled guilty and are serving various amounts of time.

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