A woman who repeatedly ran over her boyfriend after tracking him down using an Apple AirTag was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Thursday.
There, witnesses said they saw Morris march into the bar and get into an “altercation” with another woman, before picking up a beer bottle and swinging it at the woman, according to the criminal affidavit.
Smith blocked Morris from hitting the woman and the bar staff kicked all three individuals out.
After this, Morris then got in her blue 2010 Chevrolet Impala and drove up onto the sidewalk where Smith was standing.
She initially backed off but then hit Smith on the left hip with the mirror of her car.
She then hit him with the car again, dragging him under the vehicle before repeatedly running over him – with his whole upper body under the car. Smith died of traumatic asphyxia.
A witness at the trial testified that she saw Morris “hit the gas” in the parking lot then “heard what felt like a speed bump and some crunching” and saw Morris driving her car repeatedly back and forth over Smith’s body.
She was arrested at the scene just after 12.32am local time, where officers also found Smith under the front end of her car.
Morris was initially tried for murder at the Marion County Court in Indiana in August, but was only convicted of voluntary manslaughter after it was determined that she had acted under “sudden heat”, according to the sentencing order.
Jurors took less than four hours before delivering a guilty verdict.
A sudden heat sentence can be given out if prosecutors feel the defendant has committed the crime in rage, anger or sudden resentment. This mitigating factor meant Morris was ultimately convicted with voluntary manslaughter rather than murder.
Prosecutors said Morris was living with Smith at the time and had noticed he had recently been staying out all night, possibly with another woman.
Earlier in the day before Smith’s death, the couple had a conversation about a woman she thought he was seeing. After the confrontation, she said he needed to pack his things and leave.
The mother of Smith’s child also told Morris that “she should just put Andre out of their home and be finished with the relationship”, prosecutors said.
Morris had “worked herself up into a tizzy” and tracked Smith “by hiding an AirTag in the back seat of his car,” prosecutors said.
Following her arrest, she admitted to police that she tried to hit her boyfriend with the car, but said she did not mean for him to be dragged under it.
“When she goes to the bar, it’s to confront her boyfriend” and the other woman she thinks is “cheating on her with her boyfriend, whose bills she’s paying, whose rent she’s paying, who’s treating her like a dog,”
At her trial, her attorney Max Wiley said: “And she’s going there to confront him, not to kill anybody. If she was going to kill, why didn’t she bring a gun?”
However, not everyone is convinced about the “sudden heat” mitigating circumstances with Smith’s mother Laprecia Sanders branding Morris a murderer.
“My son did not deserve to be murdered because of her seeing him with another woman because she’s been seeing him with other women,” she told the court, according to WTHR.
“This has been going on. He was not married to her. He didn’t owe her nothing. He don’t share a kid with her or anything.”
Morris told the court that she was remorseful for the “hurt and pain” that she has caused.
“I understand that this is a tragic situation for everyone that sits in this courtroom, and I’m so sorry that I caused it. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would and it would be handled much differently, so differently,” she said.
“I’m praying for their strength, healing and recovery. Once again, I’m so sorry to his family. I’m very sorry. I apologise.”
If Morris had been charged with murder, she would have faced up to 65 years in prison.
A maximum sentence for sudden heat manslaughter is 30 years.
Morris was sentenced to 18 years in prison.