New York, March 26 (IANS) A 35 year-old man has been sentenced to 100 years of hard labour for causing the death of a five-year-old Indian-American child in 2021, a judge in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, announced.
Mya Patel was playing in her hotel room in Monkhouse Drive, Shreveport, in March 2021 when a bullet discharged from Joseph Lee Smith’s gun missed the target and hit her, media reports said.
District Judge John D. Mosely Jr. sentenced Smith to 60 years at hard labour without benefit of probation, parole or reduction of sentence in connection with the March 2021 slaying of Mya Patel, the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office announced this week.
The judge also ordered that Smith, who was found guilty of manslaughter in January this year, must serve 20 years for obstruction of justice and 20 years for aggravated battery, for separate convictions associated with the Patel slaying.
Those terms must also be served at hard labour without benefit of probation, parole or reduction of sentence.
On March 20, 2021, Smith got into an altercation with another man in the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel in the 4900 block of Monkhouse Drive in west Shreveport. The motel was owned and operated at that time by Vimal and Snehal Patel, who lived in a ground-floor unit with Mya and a younger sibling. During the altercation, Smith struck the other man with a 9-mm handgun, which discharged a bullet.
The bullet missed the other man, but went into the apartment to struck Mya in the head before grazing Snehal Patel. Mya was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she battled for three days before being declared dead on March 23.