Man sentenced to 40 years in prison for murder of Norfolk woman

Posted at 3:52 PM, Aug 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-23 15:52:59-04

Norfolk, Va. – On Friday, a man was sentenced to 40 years in prison in connection to the murder of a woman last year in Norfolk.

Stephen Deon Smith was sentenced to 40 years for second degree murder. He pleaded guilty back in April to the murder charge. Smith was also sentenced to more than 9 years for probation violations.

Officials say Smith brutally assaulted Lynelle Jenkins at a home on Johnson Avenue in December 2012. They say he’d been in a relationship with Jenkins at various times.

The medical examiner determined that Jenkins died from strangulation, blunt force trauma and torso injuries. They say she also had injuries to her head and neck.

Neighbors told police they heard a commotion inside of the apartment the night before. They say Smith became angry with Jenkins and that’s when the assault occurred.

Jenkins’ two children also lived in the apartment, but they were staying with a friend at the time. When the friend brought them back home the next morning, that’s when Jenkins’ body was discovered.

She was pronounced dead immediately by paramedics at 11:54 a.m. on December 23, 2012.

They say Smith admitted to a female friend that he’d assaulted Jenkins, but he denied killing her after he was arrested.