Brittany Joyce Smith pleaded guilty to murder in the January 2018 shooting death of Joshua Todd Smith. Working with Jackson County prosecutors and under the advice of Smith’s Council, the deal was struck on the night of Friday, October 9, 2020.
For almost three years, Smith has fought the charges after she confessed to shooting Todd in self defense. Smith claimed to have been battered and raped multiple times by Todd before the shooting took place.
A Stand Your Ground hearing was held to see if Smith would be granted immunity. In Alabama, the defendant must be able to prove, with a preponderance of evidence, that there was no other recourse but to use deadly force in order to prevent immediate and imminent harm to themselves or to another. This request by the Defense was denied as Smith was not able to prove as stated above, and because of Smith’s inability to maintain one version of events that coincided with her testimony in sworn statements, testimony she gave on the stand, testimony from law enforcement and the evidence collected.
The Defense then petitioned the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to overturn the immunity ruling. They also requested Judge Jenifer C. Holt, the presiding judge on the case, recuse herself. Both motions were denied.
While on bond, Smith missed two color code calls, making two violations of her bond agreement, and at a third tested positive for amphetamines, methamphetamines and alcohol, bringing the total of bond violations to three. The State requested her arrest, and a bond revocation hearing was held. After considering, Judge Holt denied the State’s request and ruled that in order to allow Smith to properly prepare for trial by jury, slated for November 2, 2020, she would need to remain accessible for the Defense.
Holt also ruled that Smith’s color code drug screenings would be weekly and random and gave the conditions that if Smith was late to a call, was a no-show or tested positive for any substances not prescribed to her, she would be arrested immediately and await her trial in the Jackson County Jail.
On Tuesday, September 22, 2020, Smith was arrested on charges of arson to which she later confessed. At the resulting bond revocation hearing, Judge Holt revoked Smith’s bond, and she was placed into the custody of the Jackson County Jail.
Instead of facing a trial by jury, Smith took a plea agreement from the State. Smith is now sentenced to 20 years (split sentence) for murder. This sentence will run concurrently with the arson sentencing. Credit for time served will also be granted, and she will serve 36 months followed by a five-year state probation that includes CRO evaluation, treatment, mental health evaluation, treatment and anger management.