FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2014
For More Information, contact:
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Claire Haynes (334) 242-7351
Page 1 of 1
AG STRANGE ANNOUNCES ETOWAH COUNTY CAPITAL
MURDER CONVICTION UPHELD BY COURT OF CRIMINAL
(MONTGOMERY) — Attorney General Luther Strange announced that the
Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the capital murder conviction of Roy
Thomas Smith, Jr. on Friday. Smith, 57, of Attalla, was convicted in Etowah Circuit
Court in April 2014 for the murder of his wife, Carla Smith. Smith was charged, and
convicted, of capital murder committed for pecuniary gain.
The evidence at trial showed that, before Smith killed Carla, the couple’s
relationship was deteriorating, leading her to make plans for divorce. Smith understood
that he risked losing rental properties and other assets valued at over $600,000 in the
divorce. Smith was also aware that Carla’s death would provide him with at least
$100,000 in insurance money. In the late evening/early morning hours of October 31-
November 1, 2010, Smith strangled Carla to death in their home. In doing so, he left his
DNA on her clothing and under her fingernails. Smith then placed Carla’s body into
the trunk of her car, leaving a bloodstain in an adjacent stairway; he drove the car to a
gravel lot and abandoned it there. The evidence further showed that Smith asked his
nephew to clean his house after the murder, and that, following his arrest, Smith told a
fellow jail inmate that he had “a lot to lose” in cash and property in a divorce. After the
jury’s verdict, Smith was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of
The case was prosecuted at trial by Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie
Harp’s office. Smith was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of
parole and subsequently sought to have his conviction reversed on appeal.
The Attorney General’s Appeals Division handled the case during the appeals
process, arguing for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm the conviction.
The Court did so in a decision issued on Friday, November 7.
Attorney General Strange commended Assistant Attorney General John Porter of
the Attorney General’s Appeals Division for his successful work in this case.
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