GALVESTON – Yesterday, the jury found
Leonard Smith, 56, guilty of Assault Causing Bodily Injury to a Family
Member/Impeding Breath with a Previous Conviction and sentenced Smith to thirty
years in prison with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
On Monday, March 12, 2016, Smith’s jury
trial began in the 10th District Court. The State presented evidence
that on July 26, 2016, Leonard Smith assaulted his wife, requiring law
enforcement and EMS to respond.
that Officer A. Gill of the Galveston Police Department responded to the
scene and immediately observed a female victim that had visible injuries all
over her face including redness and bruising. Her nose appeared to have dried
blood and her eye was nearly swollen shut. Additional injuries were found
around her neck. The victim advised that her husband, Smith, became intoxicated
earlier at a cookout. Leonard got angry at the outing and when they returned
home that night, an argument ensued. The victim explained that Leonard became
violent and she attempted to leave.
the victim down and then began striking her in the face with a closed fist. The
victim testified that she began screaming for help. At this time, Leonard
placed his hands around her neck and on her mouth. She attempted to get away
but Leonard continued to punch her in the face more than twenty times. The
victim was able to escape eventually and went to a friend’s house to call the
heard from EMS personnel during the trial. EMS explained the extent of the
victim’s injuries. During trial, prosecutors put on evidence showing the jury
that Leonard had been previously convicted of a criminal offense involving
domestic violence resulting in his present case being a second degree felony.
The jury heard
closing arguments on Wednesday afternoon. Chief Felony Prosecutor Kayla Allen
reminded the jury of the traumatic events and what the victim had been through.
She focused the jury’s attention to the victim’s testimony where she explained
that she thought she was going to die that night. The jury retired to
deliberate Wednesday morning and returned approximately one hour later with a
guilty verdict. The punishment phase of the trial followed.
punishment phase, jurors learned that Leonard had previously been convicted of
the felony offense of possession of a controlled substance twice and burglary
of a habitation. The jury retired and deliberated on punishment Wednesday
afternoon. They returned approximately three hours later. The jury assessed
Leonard’s punishment at thirty years in prison. He will have to serve at least
one fourth of his sentence before being eligible for parole.
was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Kayla Allen and Brett Landriault
in the 10th District Court, with Judge Kerry Neves presiding. The
investigations were conducted by the Galveston Police Department.