Remembering Denita Smith: A Fallen Sister, Photographer & Journalist

Four years ago this week, I was in Keene, N.H, (at my girlfriend’s place at the time) when I received a phone call that I will remember for the rest of my life — a call I never wanted to receive.

The call came from Dr. Bruce J. dePyssler, the adviser of The Campus Echo at N.C. Central University, (where I served as editor-in-chief). He did sound well.

“Rony, I have some bad news. It’s Denita Smith; she’s dead. She was murdered outside her apartment a few hours ago.”

For those unfamiliar with this story: Denita Monique Smith was a graduate student at NCCU in the Department of English and Mass Communication. I met her in fall 2003, when I was a freshman and she was a senior.

Denita Smith 2004 Graduation Photo/Aaron Daye/Echo File Photo

Denita was one of those upperclassmen at the Campus Echo who took me under her wing. If I needed a ride to Wal-Mart, she would take me. Denita was one of the handful of folks who not only helped me adjust to college life away from home but Southern culture, as well. She was truly a genuine, wonderful person, who would always brighten someone’s day. She was dedicated to her academics and the communications industry.

During her undergrad years, Denita worked for the Campus Echo as a staff photographer and reporter. In May 2004, she became the second person from my alma mater to participate in the New York Times Student Journalism Institute at Dilliard University in New Orleans, an elite two-week program for student journalists. When she came back to graduate school in 2005, Denita continued to work for the Campus Echo as a staff writer and copy editor while writing her master’s thesis, in which she explored black male identity in the works of Richard Wright and Tupac Shakur.

In 2006, Denita became engaged to her long-time boyfriend, Jermeir Stroud, an NCCU alumnus and police officer with the officer with the Police Department in Greensboro, N.C.. Life seemed to be going her way.

That all changed on the morning of Jan. 4, 2007. Around 8 a.m., Denita was leaving her off-campus apartment when she was shot and killed in cold blood by Shannon Elizabeth Crawley, 27, a former Guilford County Metro 9-1-1  dispatcher.

It turned out that Stroud (who later in admitted to this in court) had been seeing Denita and Crawley at the same time. According to media reports from the trial, Crawley had allegedly become pregnant with Stroud’s child. She later  aborted the pregnancy. According to testimony, Stroud called off the relationship with Crawley to propose to Denita. Crawley found out, she reportedly drove to Durham and shot Denita.

It took nearly three years for a trial and conviction. Crawley was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. There is currently an appeal.  I really don’t want to write about the trial itself as I still have not received the transcripts.

It was a crazy case with the defense presenting an array of theories. National and international media covered the trial well (I appeared on Oxygen’s “Snapped” back in October 2010 post-trial). I write and speak freely about this in hopes that people won’t forget the following:

  • This could have been easily been avoided. Instead, two lives have been permanently been destroyed.
  • The Smith family will not get Denita back. They have lost the opportunity to make future memories with her.
  • Crawley’s children will grow up seeing their mother behind metal bars and security glass.
  • Stroud will live for the rest of his days knowing that his mistake caused all this pain.
  • The N.C. Central University community has lost a great Eagle who could have one day returned to NCCU with a Ph.D. to teach English literature with passion or be a great mentor.

Denita Smith/NYT Student Journalism Institute

  • The journalism community lost one heck of a talented writer, proofreader and photographer.

I don’t usually live with regrets, but I never did get a chance to call Denita on Christmas Day 2006 or New Year’s Day 2007. I  had always done that with all the staff because I wanted know how everyone’s families were doing during the holiday.

I never imagined I would lose a staff member during my tenure as editor-in-chief. Being in New Hampshire on the day the tragedy happened made it even worse (not that my presence in Durham would have changed anything that day).  I opted not to call anyone that year because, frankly, I wanted a rest from NCCU during Christmas break. This saddens me to this day.

My last conversation with Denita was on the final day of the semester before the Christmas break. She was excited and bubbly about her new engagement and even more excited that she’d just became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (which at the time as a journalist, I didn’t really approve but that’s a blog post for another time).

I didn’t really understand the concept of Pan-Hellenic Organizations on the yard and their ultra dramatic yet oh-so-secretive culture, but I respected it.

She said, “Rony, you should be happy for me.”

And after thinking about it for a moment, I replied: “You know what, I am Denita. I know it means a whole lot to you. Congrats! I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas. I’ll talk to you soon.”

….

NCCU Champagne cheerleaders huddle with the men's basketball team prior to a Charlotte N.C. in 2004/Denita M. Smith ( 1981-2007)

In my living room, there is a photo (pictured above) that Denita took of the NCCU Champagne Cheerleaders huddling with the men’s basketball team from January 2004 in Charlotte. I have it because I was with her that day. I still remember when she took it.  She had given me a ride to Charlotte so I could visit an old friend from high school.

With that said, you’re not forgotten, Denita. You have a newsroom named after you even when the university threatened not to do it.  We got it done. It’s how we young Eagles roll — no nonsense.

In remembrance of you.

Love always,

Rony

25 Responses
  • Danita Williams on February 18, 2011

    What a wonderful commemoration for Denita Smith. She truly was loved and well respected on the Campus of NCCU. I became an Eagle later that year. But, upon my return from an out of town trip; the news of the incident was all over the television stations. The circumstances surrounding the incident were so… touching and disturbing. I later joined the Echo; and, because I always followed updates about the incident, I wrote one of the articles for the Echo regarding the, then, upcoming trial that had been postponed for various reasons. Finally, when the trial occurred, I was able to attend several days. Emotions were stirring throughout the courtroom; as well as outside the courthouse building, where people-namely Denita’s family would recess to. I found myself being totally disgusted with Jermeir Stroud, who just happened to come in and sit next to where I was. I felt a deep sorrow for Shannon Crawley, whom it was clear this man (Stroud) had womanized. And, I certainly hated that I never got to meet Denita, this young, vibrant, energized and talented woman, whose future was suddenly cut short at the hands of someone whom she (Denita) did not even know; or, know of. I had opportunity to speak with Denita’s family members, who were very cordial; Shannon’s father, who was extremely bitter; and, I subsequently spoke with Stroud via facebook communications; whom displayed total Jekyll/Hyde persona. In one note, he explained what had actually occurred, from his perspective. He was apologetic; and, still professes love for Denita. He claimed to be a changed and “Godly” man. However, he then, became very defensive; and, adamant about having people who discuss his new fiance killed; and, insistent that God would be in approval of it. While speaking kindly to me in private messages, his wall that was open to the public (friends, family, the new fiancee, et al) was filled with a manipulative stirring of anger, and animosity by those he was able to easily influence into behaving as angry mobs-ready, for the word to go and get whomever it is that had upset him. He had apparently asked his fiancee not to read his facebook page; and, at some point, he must have lured her to read it so that she too became irate; and, wanted to know who it was that had him so… upset. At that moment, I realized that this man plays people against each other; while those being played have no idea of what they are involving themselves into. And, while I am not condoning her behavior; it is sad to say, I believe he may have had some influence in driving Crawley to the point of making the decision to “go and get” Denita. Based on my first-hand experience of his persona, I can without a doubt say that the Durham and Greensboro Police Departments should most definitely dug much deeper in their investigation of him before deciding that Crawley acted alone in the mess she found herself involved in.

  • Archie Greenworthy on December 4, 2011

    I watched the story on SNAPPED and was moved because the victim was a sweet, innocent and loving person who had everything going for her and an exciting life ahead and the murderer was a cold-blooded, evil, piece of garbage loser who didn’t even know Ms. Smith but killed her because the loser’s lover chose Danita over her (who wouldn’t choose a wonderful person over a psycho?) and she thought she’d blame the lover. It was ridiculous and yet chilling because of the manner in which the loser acted during invistigations and trial. She was calm, rational, descritpive and LYING! It is shocking that a woman and a mother of two could do something so awful and cold. What is wrong with people? I feel nothing for that murderer and the “lover” should never ever have been screwing around with a vindictive homicidal sociopath when he was also engaged to Ms. Smith who, by all accounts was a superior person in all ways. What an awful tragedy for Ms. Smith and her family. As for the murderer’s children, they are better off not being raised with a soul-less killer. What kind of mother could she be given what she was capable of? They’re better off in foster care.

  • Tannya Artis on January 4, 2012

    Ever since her passing, I have two buttons with her picture on them. One is in my car and the other is in my office. I find it hard to believe that another woman could do this and that no other charges was filed. UNC have Eve Carson to remember and we have Denita, Latrice, and now Joey who were all taken from us through a crime of passion. Eagles, wake up! Your life is priceless! He/or she isn’t worth you leaving your family and loved ones forever! NCCU has a safe place on campus if you need someone to talk to. For the love of Denita, please be careful! Tannya

  • charlene wilson on January 28, 2012

    I am from London, United Kingdom.
    I was watching a programme about women who kill and this story came up. I was glued to the television watching this yesterday afternoon. After hearing the whole story with pictures and the facts my heart really went out to Denita and her family. What a waste of a life amazing talented young lady.

    I wonder what this lady must be thinking locked up in jail now but the sad thing is although she is locked up she is still breathing she still has life, and regardless of the situation she still gets to speak to her children and communicate with family. Denita no longer has that and her family will never be able to see her beautiful smile again on this earth.

    i didnt know her but what a honour it would have been to have met her. My her soul rest in peace in the arms of our almighty God x

  • Vera Robinson on February 5, 2012

    I didn’t know Denita, but I watched the segment of Snapped and this has been on my heart and has bother me for quite sometime. Denita was a beautiful girl with clear goals that she was reaching for. This should be an opener for anyone that cheats on the person that they are in a relationship with. That what you do may feel good to you but can affect others in many ways, a person has lost her life for something that she had no idea was happening.

    If you don’t want to be in a serious relationship you need that to be known with anyone, don’t be selfish and think of your self.

    I’m truly saddened that 1 life gone forever, 1 life is destroyed and 1 life have to live with the fact that the womea he wanted to be his wife lost her life because of his double life. For the families of Denita Smith I know that time will not heal the pain of a loss of a life with so much promise. She was cheated because the man she trusted was a coward and liar.

    For the children that will never be able to have a mother because of her jealousy and obsession with this man. They have been robbed and their life will never be the same knowing what their mother had done.

    For the family and friends of Denita especially her parents, may GOD bless you and keep you safe and although the pain is there I pray that the LORD will ease your pain knowing that she is at peace and can’t suffer from any more harm, or pain that she is truly smiling down upon you. May she rest in peace.

    Rest in Peace Denita..xoxoxo

  • Latoya on July 16, 2012

    I just watched this episode for the first time. What a beautiful person Denita was. Full of life and energy in a positive light. Although, I do put some fault on Mr. Stroud as it was his dishonesty that caused this. At the end of the day Shannon was a grown woman who has to be accountable for her actions. By no means should have taken Denita’s life over a man at that, that at the end of day was not really committed to either of them.

  • Marla Arrington on September 5, 2012

    My Prayers, Sympathies, and Best Wishes go out to the family of Denita Smith. May the good memories of her bring you comfort. For Shannon Crawley’s Children and family I just can only PRAY that the lord allows you to cope with the senseless actions of hers towards another human being.
    I recently became aware of the senseless killing of Denita Smith through a cable television program last weekend. It’s a shame that Shannon Crawley would go so low to kill another woman over a selfish man – Jemir Stroud. Stroud was trying to “have is cake and eat it too” as the old saying goes. Shannon had even bought a home in his neighbor hood & joined the church he attended in the community in which he resisded. Shannon Crawley was nearby, convenient,when Stroud got involved with her while still dealing with Denita. Stroud should have been forthcoming to both women about his dealings with them and at least made them aware of each other. Now Shannon Crawley, a single mother of two who had a decent 911 dispatch job, who could have rebuilded her life, advance her career, and dated other people, travel, etc., is behind bars for the rest of her life and a promising future journalist and graduate student, Denita Smith is dead. Yes. Shannon Crawley used a gun to murder innocent and kindhearted Denita Smith. It’s too bad that Jamir Stroud’s own dishonesty, greed and player ways pulled the TRIGGER!!!

  • pat ballard on April 28, 2013

    JERMEIR, WHAT A LOSER!!!!

  • Stephanie on April 28, 2013

    I first saw Denita’s Smith story on Snapped and was glued the screen watching the eposide. I too find it hard that another woman can take another woman’s life over a man that has been having his cake and eating it too. I want to believe that she was mentally unstable at the time she committed this horrible act but I am sure its not the case. Now I am watching the case on the ID channel a episode of and it makes me feel how tragic the case is Denita Smith had such a promising life ahead of her to be taken away over a love triangle she was in due to no fault of her own. My heart goes out to her family and may they keep her spirit alive by letting all of us know what kind of person she was and how Shannon Crawley allowed Jamir to drive her to this point he should take some of the blame he is the reason it all happened. Shame on him amd RIP Denita!!! God has a bright, talented, photographer up in heaven with him.

  • Mrs. Tate on April 28, 2013

    It is sad that in today’s world women are still blaming each-other for men’s inability to be honest and faithful. Denita nor Shannon knew anything about each-other. What they knew was the perceived love of a man. That man was restless, lost and full of self. Did Shannon think that if Denita was out of the picture, Jemir would be hers?

    Why? you were on the side-a side dish, that is the position you played and the position you would’ve always played with him. Your place in his world was set…you were an easy good time. You did not know this at the time…but found out in time.

    As women we must learn from these experiences-not ruin others behind it. My heart goes out to all of the families involved because they must all struggle with making sense of the senseless. This should never have happened.

    Mother’s, raise your daughters to have self worth. Raise them to not need nor be defined by a man. Raise them to know what they deserve and how to walk away from relationships that are beneath them.

    Keeping all in my prayers.

  • sher on April 28, 2013

    Another story of women who feel that if they get rid of the competition, they will be next in line. SMH, It breaks my heart that this young, intelligent and vibrant future star’s life had to end because of her ‘boyfriend.’ Yes, I blame him because had he not brought this other young lady into the picture, she would never have shot Denita. Sure, she physically killed her out of stupidity, not weighing the consequences of not being able to raise her two young kids if she were to be caught. But he, this animal who couldn’t keep it in his pants brought her into their relationship and now where does that leave us? Denita Smith is dead. The stupid mistress is in jail for life leaving her kids with no mom. And, let’s see, where’s Jemir Stroud? Oh, yeah, he’s probably moved on and gotten married with a kid or two without a care in the world. Well, MR. Stroud, you are partially responsible for this young lady’s death and I don’t know how or when or where, but you will get yours.

  • Nicole on April 28, 2013

    My daughter is currently a student at nccu and resides in the very apartments that Denita was nurdered! I pray for my daughter and all her friends to stay focused on their education and not on the men and if they find that their boyfriends are unfaithful to break up with them and move on Their lives depend on it. You never know who is out of their minds and love or sex drives people to do crazy things!! Men should never play with women’s hearts just be honest about what you want. Playing with the heart of a single mother twice burned was especially low. Yes Shannon pulled the trigger but her lover was pulling the strings and it doesn’t seem like he took long to move on either!

  • Mr. Hicks on April 29, 2013

    No disrespect to anyone who feels that Mr Stroud is solely responsible for this senseless murder. He does play a very key role in what happened, however this very sick and delusional woman committed this horrific crime all by her stupid confused self. People get their hearts broke everyday.. both men and women. Women often lie to men, just as well as men lie to women. It’s never okay to be dishonest to people you love, but what Mr Stroud did was no different than what goes on everyday. You can’t blame him for what this stupid ass woman decided to do. According to the story i watched on ID, he broke off the relationship with that sick woman and recommitted to Denita. He never asked the murderer to move 2 minutes from him or join his church. No one is perfect and he was a very young man trying to find himself. Yes he made a mistake, but he had been broken up with her for over a year. In other words he had moved on. Maybe if that sick woman had some self esteem, she would’ve moved on as well. If a man or woman shows you that they don’t want you anymore, you can’t go around killing people. Relationships end everyday, and you have to have enough love for yourself to learn from these situations and move forward. So stop blaming Mr Stroud for what that sicko did. Would it be ok if a man decided to go kill another man just because he found out he had been played by his girlfriend ? NO… so place the blame squarely where it belongs…. On Sicko !!!!

  • Mr. Hicks on April 29, 2013

    No disrespect to those of you who feel that Mr Stroud is responsible for this crime. I feel your pain as a woman, but Mr Stroud did not commit this crime. It’s never okay to lie to the person you love and he did play a key role in this tragedy. However, it was that sick and very delusional woman who decided to commit this senseless murder. She made the decision all by herself to do this stupid disgusting mindless murder. People break up everyday and hearts are broken on a regular basis. I’m a man and I’ve had my heart broken by a woman before. I’ve also been lied to and deceived by a woman, but this doesn’t give me the right to go around killing people. According to the story I viewed in ID, Mr Stroud had broke off the relationship for over a year. In other words, he had moved on and recommitted to Denita. I don’t condone his lying, but he was a very young man trying to find himself. What he did is no different than what goes on everyday. Would it be ok for a man to kill another man just because he found out that he had been lied to and deceived. Again, it’s wrong, but maybe if that sick woman had some self-esteem, she would’ve learned from this and moved on as well. I feel very sorry for Denita, she seemed to be the type of woman that a man would cherish and love forever. God bless her sole… Stop blaming him and place the blame squarely where it belongs…. on Shannon the sicko !!!!

  • Miseka on June 7, 2013

    This story is really sad. Denita, I didnt no you,however; my prayers go out to family. I just watched this on ID. I must say this young lady that committed this crime was sick,however; If the young man was taught how to respect woman at a young age, this would not of happened. I respect Mr Hicks responds, that it wasn’t his fault because he didn’t commit the crime. Let us take a stroll down memory lane. If this man would not have led this woman on this would not have happened. If this man would have been a man, this would not have happened. If this man would have stood up and been a man, this would not have happened. Denita, didn’t no this lady. If this man would not have brought this lady in Denitas life, this would not have happened. Every step of the way he was trying to cover his butt, everything was about him. When he saw that lady on his street. Win lose or draw, he should have told Denita, the mistake he made, so she could have been aware of her surroundings. He knew this lady was crazy and he keep all that information from the woman he suppose to Love. Sorry Mr Hicks, he didn’t pull the trigger but he loaded the gun. He needs to be held accountable he took that young lady from her family. I dont care about him being a officer. They are the main people that think they play on a different playing field than anyone else. The court of law couldnt charge him but he need to no he will be charged by that man above. He takes off to another state and started his life over. She is in jail living her life. Let me just give you a little insight about jail. When a woman get a life sentence, thats not bad,once they get set in thier ways, it is just like living in a gated community. The female will get a girl friend and they will live as a couple behind the wall. They will have movie nights, night walks, they have activities in jail. I dont no why people have this grim look when it comes to jail. They shop for food once a week. Jail is not as bad as people make it to be. The only think you cant do is, be with your family. Thats why they make a family behind the wall. Look at her in her pictures in jail. She is smiling and happy. That family will never have thier love one again until they meet in another life.

  • Ms. CyCi on June 8, 2013

    I so totally agree with you Mr. Hicks!! I am shocked by all who have decided to convict Mr. Stroud along with Shannon Crawley. I am absolutely amazed by the number of people who want to charge this man solely on the premise that he cheated on his girlfriend. The only thing I find him guilty of is not telling Denita about Shannon and perhaps risking the possibility of losing her. But he is NOT responsible for someone else’s actions. I agree with Mr. Hicks. Heck, he broke up with the woman and had moved on; at least, he seemed to be trying to. It is apparent that Mr. Stroud’s investigative skills were not sharpened because seeing her on his street and then again at church should have definitely raised some red flags. But none of us go around thinking that an ex is going to snap to the degree of killing our current involvement. Of course, my condolences to the family of Denita Smith. I cannot imagine that kind of devastation. However, I also pray for Mr. Stroud and his wife today, and his family, because this will never go away. It will be something he and his family will have drudged up the rest of his life on this earth. I believe that is punishment (albeit unjustified) enough for something that should be charged to his head… not his heart; nor should he be charged for the instability of another woman…he was training to be a cop… not a professional counselor, psychologist, and or psychiatrist.

  • Diane Elting on June 8, 2013

    I did not know Denita. I just recently learned of her and the other parties involved in the horrible circumstances surrounding her death, after watching a tv program. I truly feel bad when any life is cut short, but when it happens like this I get ANGRY. I can only hope that Mr Stroud and anyone who knows of this situation can learn from it and understand that you cannot and should not play around with human emotions. IT’S WRONG AND COULD BE DEADLY.

  • ms.miller on June 9, 2013

    Mr. Stroud was the cause of this tragedy. He played with shannon’s heart. He was not truthful. You can’t play with people’s emotion because you never know who you are dealing with. In this case, he clearly was dealing with a ticking time bomb. Shannon got life in prison. However, Mr.Stroud should’ve gotten some form of punishment. Not life in prison, but maybe counseling, community service, or imprisonment in jail on the weekends for a month or so. An example shouldve been made out of him and maybe people will think twice about playing with human emotions. After he broke it off with Shannon, he had a twelve hour conversation with her when he spotted her by his house unannounced!! Are u kidding me!!! Who does that! A 12hr convo! Im sorry but he played a role in Denita’s tragedy by sending false signals to Shannon and should be held accountable for his actions

  • Denise Leigh on September 5, 2013

    I attended NCCU for 3 years in the 80′s, and seeing this story truly touched my heart for this fellow Eagle. I am disturbed by the fact that Ms. Crawley knew where Ms Smith lived. Hmm, that was strange. I have to wonder did Mr. Stroud have anything to do with her knowing that and how that came about. It is sad to say that Mr. Stroud will never have a real sense of peace in his life behind this tragedy. To Ms. Smith family, may you all find solace in knowing that you raised a bright and beautiful young lady that fufilled her short life to the fullest. God bless all of you.

  • Anne on October 25, 2013

    Jermeir Stroud didn’t pull the trigger that killed his fiancée, but his actions placed her in a no-win position that cost her life. His selfish thoughtlessness caused him to cheat on her and to lead the other woman on. He was having his cake and eating it too without considering the possibility of such dire consequences. However, Shannon is solely to blame for killing Denita. In watching these events in Investigation Discovery, it looks like there were signs that she chose to ignore that showed him as a cheater. She wanted a better life for herself and her children, and she saw him as a vehicle to that better life. She was good-looking and smart, but she stupidly allowed her worth to be determined by a man who only used her for his own gratification. She could have had a man with all Jermeir’s good attributes, only with a mature and considerate character that he lacked. He was wrong to lead her on, but she should have recognized that she dodged a bullet when he broke it off. Instead, she stupidly moves into his neighborhood, attends his church, and finally kills his fiancée in cold blood. And for what? She’s in jail for the rest of her life, and her poor kids have to grow up without her. Denita is the only innocent party in all this. She was a pretty, sweet, and talented young lady who did nothing to deserve what happened to her.

  • NICHOLE WEBSTER on November 22, 2013

    I was living in Campus Crossing, (where Denita was murdered) the day this happened. I was a sophomore at NCCU. I never knew Denita nor have I ever met her, but her story and this event has never left my mind. I remember how cold it was outside, how the whole entire complex was at a standstill. I could not even go to work that night because access was restricted in and out that entire day. After that happened, the complex had heightened security ever since then. Something about this story really touches my heart. I remember hearing all kinds of speculation about what happened, but never received the facts until it made national headlines/media on the TV show snapped. I was a couple of buildings from her. It’s really chilling when you were literally there but had no clue what was going on. Denita is someone that I would have looked up too. She is someone that I would have loved to have gotten to know. I too, am very familiar with love trianlges, and people fail to realize how dangerous this thing can really be. You should never play on someone’s emotions. I personally believe, (because I have experienced this myself), that Shroud was dating both, but only Shannon knew about it. I believe this man, set himself up for failure, by trying to be sneaky for his own selfish reasons.

    In regards to the murder.It’s my belief, that either A: Shroud gave too much information about Denita to Shannon at some point during the course of their relationship, I really felt like Shannon knew about Denita, but Shannon may not have known the whole truth about Denita. Or B: Shannon was working for 9-1-1 and they have access to EVERYONES ADDRESSES so she used what she knew, made a plan, executed it, and was successful. Plus the shot, was so perfect……she knew what she was doing.

    I actually got a chance to see Shannon in person one day. I had a female friend at the Durham County Jail, which I went to visit, maybe a few weeks after the shooting. Shannon does not and did not look like the type of person that would do something this crazy, but she did. I can’t believe this woman went off the deep end over some DI*K I mean come on…that’s what is all about.

    Denita, I think of you all the time, and though I never met you, this story brings tears to my eyes every time. to your family, with time, God will bring peace to your hearts and I’m sure Denita is with you in spirit. I wish I could visit her final resting place in Charlotte so I can say these things to her. To Shannon and her family- I pray for you. It doesn’t matter that Shannon still gets to breathe now. Trust and believe, she will suffer in every way possible. Mental she will go crazy because she is very sane, and the guilt will eat her alive. To Shroud…there are so many men like you in this world…..and you will have your day too. He will never be able to live a day without thinking about the result of his selfish actions.

    God Bless you Denita and the Smith family—–xoxoxoxox

  • Sebrina on February 11, 2014

    I would like to leave a message for your family and friends. I am so sorry what has happen to your family. I did not know her personally but she seems to have been a very special person to all her family and friends may God be with you and I will keep you in my prayers.

  • Emme on March 2, 2014

    Denita is the only victim here now. Shannon removed her victimhood the moment she murdered an innocent who was also in a similar position to her. Both were lied to by a self-serving, narcissistic and completely unworthy man. His lies and manipulation led to this and yes, he does hold much of the responsibility despite him not pulling the trigger. In the end, two lives were utterly destroyed and one of them had no say whatsoever about the outcome. Shannon could have approached Denita and informed her of what a rotten person Jermeir had been to the both of them. Instead, she murdered an innocent woman that had no idea that she had been cast in a love triangle without any consent on her part. Rest in peace, Denita. You did not deserve to be so disrespected by someone who claimed to love you and to be murdered because he was playing with fire elsewhere. You were completely blindsided. To think that Jermeir is still wearing a badge and now is married with children is just sickening. I hope he grows a conscience and is tormented for the rest of his life for his part in this. Denita has certainly paid for it and Shannon will hopefully spend her life behind bars. I hope Jermeir’s prison is in his own mind and that he carries the weight of what he’s done like an anvil around his neck. You’re a rotten human being, Jermeir, and Shannon’s crime does not take away the role you played in this.

  • Danielle on March 23, 2014

    3/23/14- I have just watched the segment on Denita Smith. I am totally speechless. I was so enthralled with a segment that I had to look her name up. This is truly a sad story may God bless her and keep her always. Peace and blessings to all family members of the tragedy. We all can tell she was a bright shining star who will be dearly missed. Yes Denita your story will live on forever xoxoxo

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