Smith to serve 100 years for Mya Patel death

March 23, 2023

A man convicted in January for causing the death of a 5-year-old girl playing in a room of the motel her parents owned must serve a century in prison, a Caddo Parish Judge has ordered.

District Judge John D. Mosely Jr. sentenced Shreveporter Joseph Lee Smith, 35, to 60 years at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole or reduction of sentence in connection with the March 2021 slaying of Mya Patel. Smith also must serve 20 years for obstruction of justice and 20 years for aggravated battery, for separate convictions associated with the Patel slaying. Those terms must also be served at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole or reduction of sentence.

The terms were enhanced by Smith being a repeat felony offender and must be served consecutively, for the total of 100 years.

On March 20, 2021, Smith got into an altercation with another man in the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel in the 4900 block of Monkhouse Drive in west Shreveport. The motel was owned and operated at that time by Vimal and Snehal Patel, who lived in a ground-floor unit with Mya and a younger sibling. During the altercation, Smith struck the other man with a 9-mm handgun, which discharged. The bullet missed the other man, but went into the apartment to struck Mya Patel in the head before grazing Snehal Patel. Mya died of her wound on March 23, 2021.

Smith was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Mekisha Smith Creal and Monique Y. Metoyer. He was defended by Casey Simpson and Harry Johnson.

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