Teen Found Guilty of Murder After Killing His Family While on Video Call With His Girlfriend: Reports

Gavin Smith in Court
Twitter/Carrie Hodousek

“I did encourage him and say to, 'hurry up and do it,'" the teen’s girlfriend said in her testimony, according to WCHS-TV.

A West Virginia teen has been found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder for the deaths of his four family members, whom he killed while on FaceTime with his girlfriend, reported ABC 13.

Gavin Smith, 18, killed his family because he was upset they wouldn’t allow him to spend time with his girlfriend, Rebecca Walker, 18, reported Metro News.

The defense team did acknowledge that Smith killed his family early in the trial but claimed that Smith was being subjected to abuse at the home and that he had run away several times and no one helped him, according to ABC 13.

Local sheriff deputies responded to a 911 call from a relative who found them dead after they went to the family’s home after not hearing from them for days, said the sheriff’s office. 

Deputies found four dead in the home including Daniel Dale Long, 37, Risa Mae Saunders, 39, Gage Ripely, 12, and Jameson Long, 3, according to the sheriff’s office. 

Walker, who is serving 10 years for four counts of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder as part of a plea deal, testified at the trial about Smith’s situation, according to WCHS-TV.

According to Walker’s testimony, Smith showed the gun and knife to her on the FaceTime call and she encouraged him to kill his family, reported WCHS-TV.

"I do want to say that I was not at his house at this time. I was on video chat with him as this was occurring. But I did encourage him and say to, 'hurry up and do it,'" said Walker, according to WCHS-TV. "There was, 'please hurry up and do it,' 'get it over with.' That's all I can remember." 

Smith was also found guilty of the use or presentment of a firearm during the murders. He will be eligible for parole after serving 15 years in prison since he committed his crimes when he was a minor, according to ABC 13.

Related Stories