A 33-year-old man pleaded guilty today to killing his mentor and 14-year-old girl last year.
Daniel Densmore, of Tunnel Hill, Ga., stood before Judge Cindy Morris and gave a guilty plea on two counts of murder. Morris then sentenced him to life without parole.
The killings were in September at Julious Wayne Smith’s home. Prosecutors said Densmore went to Smith’s home in the morning and shot him with a .25-caliber pistol that Densmore bought earlier that morning at a flea market.
But authorities don’t believe Densmore realized 14-year-old Krista Babb was also at the 61-year-old Smith’s house. She was killed with one bullet and Smith was shot three times, said Conasauga District Attorney Bert Poston.
Authorities believe Densmore then left the house, bought gasoline then came back and set fire to the house to destroy the evidence.
Firefighters put out the flames and found the bodies.
Smith’s family agreed to a plea deal, but Krista’s older sister Seara Adair, objected, saying she wanted a jury trial so Densmore could face the death penalty.
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.
Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...