West Virginia teen get life for 4 relatives’ killings

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia teenager was sentenced in adult court Tuesday to life in prison in the killings of four family members.

Gavin Smith, 18, of Elkview received three life sentences in Kanawha County Circuit Court on first-degree murder convictions in the December 2020 deaths of his mother, stepfather, and 12-year-old brother. He also was sentenced to 40 years on a second-degree murder charge in the death of his 3-year-old brother and an additional 10 years for using a firearm during a felony.

The judge ordered the sentences to be served consecutively, news outlets reported. Smith, who was convicted by a jury last month, will be eligible for parole after 15 years.

Smith was 16 and his girlfriend was 17 when they were arrested. The bodies of Daniel Dale Long, 37, Risa Mae Saunders, 39, Gage Ripley, 12, and Jameson Long, 3, were found shot to death.

Rebecca Lynn Walker pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact by helping him hide after the slayings. She previously was sentenced as an adult to 10 years in prison.

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