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Man pleads guilty to murder of grandson’s mother

The man accused of killing his grandson’s mother pled guilty to first degree murder in Monongalia County Circuit Courty Tuesday afternoon.

Gary Smith II, 60, of Morgantown, appeared by video from North Central Regional Jail to enter an Alford plea in the murder of Alexa Randolph.

An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt by the defendant but shows his recognition that there may be enough evidence for a jury to convict him.

When asked by Judge Susan Tucker if he understood the plea he was entering, a visibly emotional Smith replied, “This is a lot.”  

Prosecuting attorney Perri DeChrisopher read the facts of the case to the court, which the judge found to have a factual basis for a guilty plea. 

Randolph was last seen Jan. 28 outside her apartment on Overdale Street, in Greenmont. She was reported missing that night.

On Jan. 29, the Morgantown Police Department requested help in locating her and that evening she was found dead in her car, which was parked at a shopping center off Grafton Road.

Per DeChristopher’s reading of the facts, later investigation revealed the presence of Randolph’s blood at Smith’s home, and the autopsy report found material under Randolph’s fingernails that tied back to Smith. Statements by Smith to investigators confirmed his involvement. 

Smith will be sentenced in November and faces life in prison with a chance for parole after 15 years.

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