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SPARTANBURG COUNTY MAN RECEIVES 35-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE FOR RETRIAL OF 1997 KILLING

A Spartanburg County man received a 35-year prison sentence this afternoon for shooting a person to death.

David Dwight Smith, 46, was found guilty of murder and possession of a gun during the commission of a violent crime. He shot Robert Finley, 32, once in the head with a .25 caliber pistol at a Lebon Drive home. Smith killed Finley on Jan. 12, 1997 because he owed him money from an earlier drug deal. Several witnesses helped Spartanburg County sheriff’s deputies identify Smith as the shooter.

Smith was sentenced to life in prison when the case was first tried in December of 1997. The conviction was overturned during the appeals process when it was determined that Smith received ineffective defense counsel. Smith will serve every day of the new prison sentence. He is not eligible for parole but he will receive credit for time served.

“I hope today’s verdict creates some much-deserved closure for the Finley family,” Assistant Solicitor Bob Coler said. “Their journey to justice has been a long one.”