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Father Pleads Guilty For Role in Incident Where Child Was Shot in the Back

Albany County District Attorney David Soares



Press Release

November 13, 2020



Father Pleads Guilty For Role in Incident



Where Child Was Shot in the Back

ALBANY, NY - District Attorney P. David Soares announced today that GREGORIE SMITH JR., 54, of Albany, pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Attempted Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a Class D Armed Violent Felony, before the Honorable William A. Carter in Albany County Court this morning.

On June 13, 2020, at approximately 9:40 P.M., SMITH was handling an illegally possessed firearm in his 14-year-old son’s bedroom while his son was present. SMITH discharged the weapon and a bullet went through a wall and struck his 10-year-old daughter in the back. The child thankfully survived the incident, and underwent surgery to treat injuries where the bullet entered her spine.

Further investigation revealed that SMITH was unable to possess the firearm due to previous felony convictions. The weapon was recovered hidden in the backyard of the home.

On the record today, SMITH allocuted that he was aware he could not own or possess a firearm due to his criminal history. The People placed several facts on the record to outline that SMITH has not gone 5 years in the last 30 without being convicted of a crime, including two offenses involving weapons being used against his own family in the last two years.

It was noted that the maximum sentence for the current top charge is (15) years, but because SMITH has been to state prison twice before, he qualifies for “discretionary persistent felon” status. If the Court imposed that status, the legal minimum sentence could be 15 years to Life, with the maximum exposure of 25 years to Life.

It was also placed on the record in Court today that despite the completion of alternative to incarceration programs offered by our office for felony drug sales in 2015, there are still 26 misdemeanor and 2 felony criminal convictions that do not have a 5 year span between them.

These convictions include several forgery, criminal impersonation, possession of stolen property, drug related offenses, and a menacing charge. Due to the short length of time between these offenses, the People placed their determination on the record today that SMITH would not be an ideal candidate for a term of supervision under Probation for the current offense.

It was also noted that SMITH’s recent criminal history has turned from non-violent crimes to violent in the last 18 months. In 2019, SMITH served 7 months in the Albany County Correctional Facility after admitting that he menaced his family with what appeared to be a pistol during a domestic dispute, by putting the pistol to the head of an intimate partner while verbally threatening to kill her and her children.

Due to his criminal history and the legal factors outlined on the record in Court today, SMITH faces a sentence range which includes the minimum sentence allowed by law for the initially charged crime of 3 ½ to 7 years in State Prison, to be followed by (3) years of Post-Release Supervision, when sentenced on January 8, 2021.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Shanley is handling the prosecution of this case.

For more information please contact Cecilia Walsh at (518) 275-4710 or [email protected]