Man resentenced, gets 22 years to life in retired Philadelphia police officer's murder

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Man resentenced, gets 22 years to life in retired cop's murder. Maggie Kent reports during Action News at 5pm on October 16, 2018.

A man convicted of second-degree murder in the 1998 death of a retired Philadelphia police officer was resentenced on Tuesday.

A judge gave Aaron Smith 22 years to life. Smith has served more than 19 years, which means he would be eligible for parole in two years and two months.

Smith, who was 17 at the time of the killing, was originally sentenced to life without parole after his conviction.

However, his fate changed because of a Supreme Court ruling, which declared it was unconstitutional to give anyone under 18 a sentence of life without parole.



King was killed after several men came into a bar he was sitting in to carry out an armed robbery. Smith was one of those men.

District Attorney Larry Krasner recommended Smith be resentenced based on the ruling, and the fact that Smith was not armed during the robbery.

Families of both the victim and the defendant were crying in court as King's son, Ace, explained how his dad's murder changed his life.

"We've been sitting in prison, in our own mental, emotional prison, for 20 years. We don't have bars behind it, but maybe at times it's even worse," said Ace King.

King's family wanted to see Smith serve another 10 years for his role in the crime.

"I really want to convey the lack of support the D.A.'s office has given us, zero support whatsoever," Ace King said.

In court, Smith apologized for his role in the armed robbery turned deadly, and the pain he had caused the King family.

He said, "Prison helped change me."

After hearing from both sides, the judge said "no one is happy" before handing down the resentencing.

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