Houston man sentenced for Quanah murder
HARDEMAN COUNTY, Texas (KAUZ) - A Hardeman County jury sentenced a 26-year-old Houston man to 75 years in prison on Thursday for the 2021 murder of his girlfriend.
Armond Jordan Smith was found guilty of killing 18-year-old Anaja Griffin-McNeal, of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota,
According to a news release, the murder was discovered on Jan. 15, 2021 when a customer at the Love’s Travel Center in Quanah told an employee blood was leaking out of a car in the parking lot. A deputy then responded to the scene and reportedly found Griffin-McNeal deceased with a gunshot wound to her head.
Smith reportedly attempted suicide and was found in the passenger seat with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head and a pistol at his feet. An analysis found that Smith was the only potentially contributor of DNA on the gun, according to a news release.
46th Judicial District Attorney J. Staley Heatly said while the motive for the killing is unclear, testimony at the trial indicated that Smith and Griffin-McNeal had a “sometimes-tumultuous relationship.” A friend of Griffin-McNeal reportedly testified that in November of 2020, she had received a call from Griffin-McNeal saying she was afraid of Smith.
Smith and Griffin-McNeal were reportedly vacationing in New Mexico in the days before the murder, but they had run out of money in Quanah during their return trip.
Smith will reportedly not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 30 years of his sentence.
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