Quentin Smith sentenced to life without parole for killing Westerville officers

Quentin Smith in court on November 21, 2019 (WBNS-10TV)
Published:
Updated:

The man convicted of killing two Westerville police officers will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Thursday Judge Richard Frye sentenced Quentin Smith to two life sentences, plus 26.5 years.

Smith murdered Officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli in February 2018.

Just as he did throughout his murder trial, at his sentencing Thursday, Quentin Smith said nothing and showed nothing: no expression, no emotion, no signs of remorse. And given a final chance to speak, he declined.

Friday the families of Officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli asked not to be photographed.

They chose not to speak, standing on the powerful words they shared during the trial.

"I would like everyone to know, that Tony was not just an officer- that he was a son, a brother, a husband and a father," Linda Morelli told jurors.

"The girls to this day will call his cell phone to hear his voice on the voicemail because that's the only thing that brings them comfort," testified Jami Joering. "They will text him to wish him happy birthday, or simply tell him about their day."

Judge Richard Frye shared these words from the Joering family.

"They said, 'We understand Mr. Smith was shot several times, does he wonder why he's still living? We fully believe God spared him that day to give him time to repent for this awful crime. Because God does love him and wants him to spend all eternity in heaven. God has given this man a chance to tell people that he is sorry for what he did.'"

Frye added: "This jury spared your life- and you owe it to the rest of us to take this to heart. And to be as good a person for the rest of your life as you can possibly be. It will not pay back the families and the community that you cost these wonderful officers but it will be a way for you to show in some small way, some remorse."

Smith was eligible for the death penalty, but the jury instead recommended life in prison, and by law, the judge was not allowed to overrule them and impose death.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said he and the officers' families accept that sentence, with the knowledge that Quentin Smith will die in prison.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: WESTERVILLE STRONG >>>