Man found guilty in death of five-year-old Indian American child


A 35 year-old has been found guilty of manslaughter in connection with the slaying of five year-old Indian American girl Mya Patel in 2021.

Mya was playing in her hotel room in Monkhouse Drive, Shreveport in Louisiana, in March 2021 when a bullet discharged from Joseph Lee Smith’s gun missed the target and struck her, media reports said.

The court heard last week that Smith got into an altercation with another man in the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel, which was owned and operated at that time by Vimal and Snehal Patel, who lived with Mya and a younger sibling, the Shreveport Times reported.

The bullet discharged from a 9-mm handgun when Smith used it to strike the other man.It missed the man but went into the apartment and struck Mya in the head before grazing her mother, the Times reported.

Mya was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she battled for three days before being declared dead on March 23.

When Smith returns to the court on February 27, he faces a prison term of up to 40 years at hard labour for the manslaughter conviction.

He also faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for the aggravated battery conviction and up to 40 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000 for the obstruction conviction.

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