5-year-old Indian American girl was hit by a bullet while playing in a motel room with her family
A Louisiana man responsible for the shooting death of Mya Patel, a 5-year-old Indian American girl who was playing in a motel room with her family, will spend the rest of his life in jail.
Joseph Lee Smith, 35, will spend the next 100 years in prison, Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office announced on March 23, local KSLA news outlet reported. Smith was found guilty in January 2023.
Read: Louisiana man found guilty in death of Mya Patel (January 18, 2023)
District Judge John D. Mosely Jr. sentenced Smith to 60 years for the March 2021 death of Patel. Smith will also serve 20 years for obstruction of justice, and another 20 years for aggravated battery.
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 in a press release that “the terms were enhanced by Smith being a repeat felony offender and must be served consecutively, for the total of 100 years.”
Back 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.
At the time, the motel was owned and operated by Vimal and Snehal Patel, who were living 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; the bullet also grazed Snehal.
Patel was rushed to Ochsner LSU Health, where she battled for three days and was pronounced dead on March 23, 2021.