Waco, Tx (FOX44) – 20-year-old Willow Reign Smith has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after entering a guilty plea to a charge of murder in the January 22, 2020 death of 19-year-old Tyler McKinney, Jr.
The MCC student was found shot to death in his car near Gregory Lane on Cedar Mountain Drive after area residents called police after hearing gunshots.
Smith had been charged with capital murder and multiple robbery counts, but was allowed to plea down to the lesser murder charge in 54th District Court.
Smith, along with Delviyonte Sampson, were charged in the case that police say was an ambush and robbery. The pair was arrested in Wichita Falls in February 2020 – where police say they left in a stolen car following the attack.
Sampson’s trial is pending.
Police said they believe that McKinney was lured to the area by Smith, and that he was shot during the robbery the two suspects planned.
An arrest affidavit stated that the victim’s cell phone was in his lap when he was found, and that a study of the phone showed he was in contact with Smith moments before he was shot.
The affidavit stated that witnesses saw two people leaving the scene on foot – with one of them identifying Smith and Sampson as the pair seen leaving.
One of the witnesses reported observing them cleaning a handgun and making statements that they just killed someone.
Smith received 20-year sentences in the robbery cases – with the two sentences to be served concurrently.