Fort Mojave Man Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Second-Degree Murder, Child Abuse, and Assault
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 28, 2014|
PHOENIX, AZ—On January 27, 2014, Matthew Smith, 31, of Mohave Valley, Arizona, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul G. Rosenblatt to 35 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. The court also ordered Smith to pay $250,193 in restitution. Smith pleaded guilty on August 15, 2013, to second-degree murder, child abuse, and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
Between July 8, 2012 and July 11, 2012, on the Fort Mojave Indian reservation, Smith punched his stepchild in the abdomen and assaulted the child multiple times. The child died due to multiple blunt force traumas and other injuries. During the same period of time, Smith also assaulted another of his stepchildren and left the child for approximately two days without food or water. The second child was hospitalized for a significant period of time and survived but sustained serious permanent injuries. In investigating the death and assault to Smith’s two stepchildren, law enforcement officers observed that another of Smith’s children had a visibly distorted arm. Investigators determined that, during the same July time period as the homicide and assault, Smith had assaulted this third child, who suffered a broken arm.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Mojave Police Department. The prosecution was handled by Jennifer E. Green and Sharon K. Sexton, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.