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'Senseless' murder nets Fort Wayne man 90 years in prison

Friday, November 8, 2013 - 1:46 pm

A man convicted of murder received a hefty sentence Friday in Allen Superior Court, after the trial judge stated for the record that the crime made no sense.

Eric J. Smith was convicted by jury in early October for the June 9 murder of Jabron Q. Totton. Totton was shot in a parking lot around 3 a.m. after police said a quarrel had taken place inside an American Legion Hall but had been broken up, according to information previously released by the Fort Wayne Police Department.

Totton was in critical condition when he was taken to a local hospital by ambulance after being shot and was later pronounced dead.

On Friday in Allen Superior Court, the 36-year-old Smith found out his sentence for that crime: a total of 90 years in prison. Judge Fran Gull sentenced him to 65 years for the murder with a five-year enhancement for being a serious violent felon, and then ordered a 20-year sentence to be served consecutively for his conviction on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Gull handed down the sentence after stating in her remarks that Totton’s murder “was a senseless tragedy. By all accounts, you (Smith) come from a good family. They are here to support you. This makes no sense.”

Smith said in brief remarks that he was innocent, despite his conviction, and that he planned to appeal the verdicts in the case.

For more on this story, see Saturday's edition of The News-Sentinel or check back on www.news-sentinel.com.