Tue. May 28th, 2024

A 48-year-old Illinois man was sentenced Monday to life in prison for fatally shooting a woman he’d been in a relationship with “just inches” from her young daughter in January, according to prosecutors.

Jermaine Mandley was sentenced Monday after a jury trial in August during which he was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of endangering the life or health of a child.

Shortly after midnight Jan. 8, Joliet police officers found a silver sedan parked in an alley in the 1200 block of Clement Street in Joliet, according to prosecutors.

24-year-old Maya Smith was found dead inside with multiple gunshot wounds to her head and abdomen as her 2-year-old daughter sat unharmed in the backseat.

Surveillance video showed a person exit the passenger seat, turn back, and then there were several flashes inside the vehicle, prosecutors said.

An individual later identified as Mandley was arrested and charged in the killing after law enforcement matched DNA evidence on the passenger door to him and obtained Ring camera video from a nearby house Mandley visited minutes after the shooting, prosecutors said.

Texts between Mandley and Smith confirmed they had been in a relationship and had agreed to meet up Jan. 7, prosecutors said. Mandley didn’t show up to work the next day and was later arrested on the Southeast side Chicago.

Other video presented as evidence in the case caught Mandley saying he “killed that b—” and “she dead — call that b— now.”

Years earlier, Madley served time in prison after he crashed into a Chicago pastor and his wife in 2001, killing them both.

Mandley was sentenced to 15 years for reckless homicide for driving without a license — which had previously been revoked twice — and having a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit after running a red light while avoiding police, according to prosecutors. He was also previously convicted of possessing a firearm as a felon and sentenced to 31⁄2 years in prison.

“Jermaine Mandley is evil incarnate,” Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said in a statement. “He ruthlessly fired at least seven shots at Maya Smith with her infant daughter just inches away. The daughter of Maya Smith now faces a life sentence without her mother.”

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born | buffygunner@illicitdeeds.com