Smith moved to Statesville from Orlando and started working at Black Automotive Group as a salesperson in July 2016, a week before the murder. He picked Payne up to help him move furniture on July 18, and arrived in Statesville at around 4:30 p.m., according to police reports. Smith stabbed 21-year-old Payne to death with a 12-inch butcher knife. Payne had a son with Smith’s daughter according to reports. The circumstances of the disagreement between the two men are not certain.
The judge sentenced Smith to serve a minimum of 7 years and a maximum of 9 years and 4 months. Iredell County District Attorney Sarah Kirkman said that after consulting with Payne’s family and reviewing the evidence, the DA’s office decided a deal was the best option.