Mya Patel’s killer sentenced to100 years in prison


A Louisiana man responsible for the shooting death of Mya Patel, a 5-year-old Indian American girl, will spend the rest of his life in jail.

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Joseph Lee Smith, 35, will spend the next 100 years in prison, Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office announced.  Smith was found guilty in January 2023. District Judge John D Mosely Jr sentenced Smith to 60 years for the 5-year-old’s tragic death. Smith will also serve 20 years for obstruction of justice, and another 20 years for aggravated battery.

On March 20, 2021, Smith got into some sort of argument with another man in the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel in the 4900 block of Monkhouse Drive, Shreveport, Louisiana on March 20, 2021. The motel was owned and operated by Vimal and Snehal Patel, parents of Mya Patel. They used to live in one of the units on the ground floor. The Patels were in their room with their daughter, Mya, and a younger sibling when the shooting happened.

During the argument, Smith hit the other man with a 9 mm handgun, which went off. The bullet missed the other man but went into the room where the Patels were living and hit Mya in the head. Patel was rushed to Ochsner LSU Health. She battled for life for 3 days and was pronounced dead on March 23, 2021.

His terms will be served without the benefit of probation, parole or reduction of sentence. And his sentences will be served consecutively, for a total of 100 years. The DA’s office said that “the terms were enhanced by Smith being a repeat felony offender and must be served consecutively, for a total of 100 years.”

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