PHOENIX - A judge has sentenced an Arizona man to four consecutive natural life sentences in connection with the murder of four people in 2019.
The murders happened in late April 2019. The man, identified as Austin Smith, killed his wife, 29-year-old Dasia Patterson, along with two young children, five-year-old Nasha Smith and seven-year-old Mayan Smith, at their home near 75th Avenue and Camelback. Smith then drove to another location near 67th Avenue and Osborn and shot 46-year-old Ron Freeman.
Smith reportedly thought that Freeman had a romantic involvement with his wife. Smith also told police his religion was a factor in committing the crimes.
"He said that the reason he shot these individuals is because in God's eyes, it was all right for him to deal with someone in this manner who had been involved in adultery, extramarital affairs," said Phoenix Police Sergeant Tommy Thompson, in an interview with FOX 10 in 2019.
In court, defense lawyers say mental illness played a role in the killings.
Smith pleaded guilty in a deal made with prosecutors in November 2019. Emotions ran high in the courtroom on Tuesday, with family members stunned that Smith chose to stay silent.