WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (WCAX) A Springfield man will serve a maximum 15-year sentence for the 2015 shooting death of his neighbor.
Greg Smith was originally charged with 2nd degree murder in the death of Wesley Wing and had faced a possible sentence of life behind bars.
Family and friends of the victim said Wednesday's sentence fell short. "He made everybody feel better," said Sheila Wing, Wesley's wife. "He could just say something or hug you and all your problems just went away."
Wing was shot to death down the street from his Springfield home in the Spring of 2015. It happened in broad daylight after Wing confronted Smith's girlfriend, Wendy Morris, calling her a heroin addict and telling her to get out of the neighborhood. A short time later, as Wing walked down the street, Smith shot him five times.
Smith argued that he acted in self-defense, but the jury found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter.
"Wes's body was unrecognizable," said Terry Wing, Wesley's mother.
Several of Wing's family members offered statements to the court during the sentencing. Smith also apologized for the crime. "Firstly, I'd like to say I'm sorry to the Wing family," he said.
But family members afterward said that they did not feel the apology was sincere.
The judge sentenced Smith to serve 13 to 15 years for the crime, which is nearly the maximum penalty. But Wing's mother says she feels he should never get out of jail. "I will never see my son again. That would have been total justice," she said.
Now that the case is finally over, Wing's wife, Sheila, says her family can at least try to move on. "I think it gives us closure in the sense that we don't have to keep coming back to court. But you know, we will always miss him," she said.
Crediting time already served, Smith will serve a minimum of nine years, which is a far cry from the possible life sentence he originally faced.