Family of murdered teen not happy with judge's ruling - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Family of murdered teen not happy with judge's ruling

Darren Smylie Darren Smylie
Darren Smylie Darren Smylie

It's been almost three years since the murder of Darren "Deegie" Smylie Jr. The two men arrested and charged with his murder, Brian Russel, 31, and Tevis Harvey, 25, were in court this week. Both men entered guilty pleas, in exchange for a plea deal.

The victim's family says their punishment is not fair.

Chyvetta Broden held a picture frame filled with photos of her son as she left the Ascension Parish Courthouse Wednesday; pictures of him as a baby, playing basketball and dressed for her wedding - those memories she shared with the court.

"I've gone from all these happy times, I've gone to this," she said, and held up a picture of Smylie in his casket.

"I have a lot of memories. I can go visit with my son at the grave. He can't answer back. I can go sit there, I can look at pictures. I can't hold him," she said.

On June 22, 2011, Smylie's father found him dead inside their home. Russel and Harvey were arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

The victim's family members said until Wednesday, they had no idea what happened inside that home.

According to a statement, read by Judge Jessie Leblanc, Tevis Harvey drove his co-defendant Brian Russel to the victim's home. Russel and the victim had a fight. A gun was pulled and Smylie was shot three times. He died at the scene.

Harvey initially said he was never at the scene and would not tell investigators who the gunman was.

Wednesday, Harvey pleaded guilty to second-degree murder accessory after the fact, in a plea deal. He was sentenced to five years, with credit for time served.

It's the second plea deal in the case in a week. Days ago, Russel pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 18 years, with credit for time served.

Smylie's family says justice was not served. They say they were told both men could face life in prison.

"My child is dead and he's not coming back. But they get a chance to walk and have a second chance at life. We don't get that second chance, we don't," Broden said, through tears.

Broden says for her the case is not finished. She still doesn't know why her son was killed, something she says she may never know.

"You did not give my child justice. I'm sorry, you did not serve him justice."

Smylie's family say they never agreed to the plea deals for either of the men.

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