According to WAND-TV, a jury found Smith guilty in June after deliberating for under an hour. Smith reportedly used an electrical cord to strangle Bricker by wrapping it around her neck multiple times, then stabbed her in the chest with scissors. Smith also tied Bricker’s hands behind her back. Her cause of death was ligature strangulation with stabbing as a factor.
WAND reports Smith was previously convicted of crimes against the elderly. In 1994, he was found guilty of aggravated burglary and robbery because he broke into a 76-year-old woman’s house.
At the sentencing, Sangamon County Judge John Madonia told Smith, "You did all of this after spending decades of your life in prison for an eerily similar offense. The court does not believe that you have rehabilitative potential that merits release from prison. The court needs to impose a sentence that protects the public from you forever."
State Attorney Dan Wright said something similar, adding, "We are very pleased with the sentence that the court imposed today. Simply put, the defendant is a monster beyond any rehabilitative potential, and he received the only just sentence permitted by Illinois law."