North Vernon Man Sentenced to 45 Years For Murder

A North Vernon man accused of murder was sentenced to 45 years Thursday in Jennings County Circuit Court after entering a guilty plea.

William Smith,  47, was arrested on May 11th, 2021 in connection with the killing of Robert Boyd, 56, of North Vernon. Smith was charged with murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, arson, resisting law enforcement, possession of methamphetamine, and obstruction of justice.

According to court documents, Smith had been staying in Boyd’s house when the incident occurred. During the investigation, local police were allegedly told that someone close to Smith had revealed that he had a “hit list” of people he wanted to kill, including Robert Boyd. Names of some of Smith’s family members and other members of law enforcement were also included on the list.

Jennings County Prosecutor Brian Belding revealed that, while awaiting trial, Smith was declared to not be competent to be tried after examinations by two court appointed doctors. He was transferred to Logansport State Hospital for several months until the psychiatrists at the state hospital deemed the defendant fit to stand trial.

Smith was scheduled to stand trial on February 27th but instead he pleaded guilty to the felony charge of murder on February 23rd.

The other charges were dismissed.

Smith acknowledged during the hearing that he committed the murder, according to Prosecutor Belding.

The hearing was attended by members of Mr. Boyd’s family.