Woman sentenced in 2016 killing

Easley woman gets 20 years after guilty plea in neighbor’s shooting

PICKENS — An Easley woman will spend the next two decades behind bars for shooting her neighbor to death in 2016.

Circuit Judge Edward W. Miller sentenced 59-year-old Rebecca Barten Smoak, 59, to 20 years in prison Thursday after she pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and weapons possession.

Smoak was arrested in September 2016 and charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime after 58-year-old James Kenneth Brazeal was shot in the chest.

During the plea hearing, Assistant 10th Circuit Solicitor Baker Cleveland presented evidence showing that on Sept. 10, 2016 Smoak shot Brazeal in the abdomen with a .410 shotgun. Brazeal was able to identify Smoak as the shooter to 911 dispatchers, but died after being taken by ambulance to the hospital,

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