Anita Smithey

This case seems to boggle me just a bit.  On November 20, 2014 Anita Smithey was convicted in the second degree murder of her estranged husband, Robert Cline III.  In February of 2015 she was sentenced to forty years in prison.  

Anita admits to shooting her husband of three years on May 3, 2010. The couple had been separated for three months but had met on several occasions and had consensual sex.  Anita admits that Robert had come to the home she was living in Oviedo Florida on that night and claims that she agreed to have sex with him, although she says reluctantly.  

Anita would claim that Robert had been abusive throughout their marriage on that evening he had not only proceeded to rape her but pulled a knife on her slashing at her throat, and hitting her in the face, chipping a tooth.  She was also suffering from a stab wound to her side when she was interviewed by police.  She claimed it was during this argument that she grabbed her gun and shot Robert.  Prosecutors would later argue that Anita kept changing her story as to events that happened that night and would claim she had stabbed herself in the side.  They would have this account on video.  

She would be arrested and charged with his murder. She attempted to use the Stand Your Ground defense but failed.  She was offered a plea agreement of thirty years but she refused and took her case to trial.

While obviously there is no question as to who shot Robert Cline III or whether or not he died there seemed to be the dispute on whether Anita had done so in self defense.  On the surface of the case, along with the fact that a jury convicted her after deliberating for only two and a half hours, it would seem that she had not.  The prosecution could have, and obviously did, won this case hands down.  However, the problem I have is the theory that the prosecution gave to the jury as to why the murder occurred.  Their theory would claim that after having consensual sex Anita wanted Robert to shower and leave but he was not done having sex and wanted more.  In turn she got mad and shot him. I could find nothing to indicate that Robert was shot anywhere other than on the bed.  I have difficulty in being able to take the prosecutions own voiced theory and automatically dismissing Anita's claims.

The prosecution would also claim that the couple had often engaged in role playing during sex and involved knives and the like.  After hearing their theory as to what had happened, and not hearing how they determined the couple had role played I am left wondering if I were on that jury if I could have convicted her. Then of course there is the ever changing story as to the admittance of stabbing herself but in the same respect I did not see or hear the video to know what reasons she may have given for this.  I am not saying that there really is any excuse per se to stabbing herself, or that I think any rational person would do so, but I would still like to hear more from her own words.

I believe that the judge sentenced her to forty years, even though she could have gotten as little as twenty-five or as much as life because she turned down the plea offer for thirty years.  According to the Florida Department of Corrections website she will not be released until September of 2054, if she's still alive then, which is doubtful.  


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