Jessica Smith sentenced to life in prison after killing one daughter and injuring another

Jessica Smith during prior court appearance (KPTV file image)

Jessica Smith was given a life sentence in a Clatsop County court Thursday after killing one of her daughters and injuring the other in 2014.

Court documents state Smith confessed to drowning her youngest daughter and helping the older girl cut herself with a razor blade in a Cannon Beach hotel room, the day before she was to turn the girls over to their father.

Smith was found by the Coast Guard a few days later 15 miles from the scene of her daughter’s death .

A judge ruled that Jessica Smith was fit to stand trial in June. Last month, prosecutors played a video in court that showed Smith confessing to the crimes.

Smith pleaded guilty earlier this month to a count of aggravated murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter and a count of attempted aggravated murder for the injuries to her then 13-year-old daughter.

Smith was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole in 30 years for the aggravated murder charge and to 10 years for the charge of attempted aggravated murder, effectively making her eligible for parole in 2056.

In court Thursday, Smith only answered that she was not speaking on the advice of her attorney.

Her ex-husband Gregory Smith, though, said the memories of his daughter Isabella would inspire him.

“She will always embody pure joy and caring, with a quick smile, bright eyes and the softest baby face," he said. “

Smith added that he and his surviving daughter, Alana, were looking to the future for peace.

“Our life stories diverge from this point forward and I’m looking forward to joy and peace in the future,” we said, before addressing his ex-wife. “I wish you peace in your path as well.”

Judge Julie Frantz said the crimes didn't seem to fit the Jessica Smith she had gotten to know through the plea deal process.

"They seem to be inconsistent with everything that was known about your past,” Frantz said. “But that does not diminish, in any way, the horrific and inconceivable nature of these two crimes.”

Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis said the murder of one daughter and attempted murder of the other were premeditated and that Smith knew exactly what she was doing.

"It's about her responsibility and the fact that she will spend until she's 82 years old in the prison system, which, as far as I’m concerned, is not long enough," he said.

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