ST. THOMAS, V.I. – A 27-year-old woman accused of beating and
severely injuring a young girl has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
Latoya Nicole Smith pleaded
guilty Thursday morning to third-degree assault, admitting she beat and
severely injured the girl using a broken glass bottle.
Smith was charged with nine
counts – first-degree assault, mayhem, four counts of using a dangerous weapon
during the commission of a crime of violence and three counts of third-degree
assault – in connection with the Aug. 2, 2012 incident. She faced 15 years behind
bars on the first-degree assault conviction alone.
In his allocution outlining the
terms of the plea agreement offered by the Attorney General, Assistant Attorney
General Eugene James Connor, Jr., made an oral recommendation that in exchange
for the guilty plea, the remaining
counts against Smith be dismissed, that she be sentenced to three years
imprisonment, pay restitution to the victim for any medical bills not covered
by insurance and the mandatory fine of $500, plus $75 for court costs. The People also recommended that Smith have
no contact with the victim or her family.
An affidavit written by police detective
Sehkera Tyson stated that on Aug. 2, 2012 at about 5 p.m., police responded to
reports of a fight among several girls at the Sky High Club.
Based on eyewitnesses’ reports,
police learnt that a group of boys and girls were standing outside the club,
waiting for a ride. They were all
getting into the car when Smith approached one of the girls and struck her with
her fist and a fight ensued. The girl tried to run, but Smith pursued her,
picked up a bottle, broke it and repeatedly slashed the girl about her face and
body. When the others intervened in the fight, Smith also wounded them with the
broken bottle, according to Tyson’s affidavit.
As a result, the three victims
were taken to Schneider hospital. One received more than 100 sutures to her
face, several staples in her head and several staples in her stomach, according
to Tyson. Another of the victims received multiple stitches to her arm, Tyson
wrote. The third victim also received multiple stitches to her arm, according
The victims viewed a photo array
and positively identified Smith as their attacker, according to Tyson.
V.I. Superior Court Judge
Kathleen Mackay accepted Smith’s guilty plea, but has scheduled her sentencing
for Oct. 7 at 10 a.m. as she awaits a pre-sentence report.
Smith remains free on bail.