Man Killed Wife Son 15 To 30 Years
December 3, 2011 by staff
“I feel my daddy should be punished for the rest of his life,” 8-year-old Mercey Smeltzer said. “I love my daddy, but I’m afraid.”
Mercey read a letter she had written only days before her father, Christopher Smeltzer, was sentenced yesterday to 15 to 30 years in prison for bludgeoning her mother to death with a flashlight on Nov. 7, 2010.
“I miss reading and cuddling with Mommy,” Mercey said. “My life will never be the same.”
The former Salem man, who later broke down and sobbed on the stand, listened in Rockingham Superior Court as his daughter described how she loved and missed her mother, 39-year-old Mara Pappalardo.
Mercey said she also loved her father, but he should be sent to prison.
Smeltzer, 39, was originally charged with second-degree murder, but that charge was downgraded to manslaughter as part of a plea bargain.
Five years of Smeltzer’s sentence will be suspended for good behavior and if he receives a college degree while in prison, Judge Tina Nadeau said.
Defense attorneys had recommended Smeltzer spend seven and a half to 20 years in prison, the maximum sentence he was eligible for.
Smeltzer, shackled and dressed in a bright orange prison jumpsuit, addressed the judge after friends and relatives of both the victim and defendant told how that tragic night forever changed their lives.
Smeltzer and his family were spending the night in an Auburn home from which they were being evicted. He left the home to get some headache medicine for his wife, but ended up doing cocaine with two friends, according to Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young.
When Smeltzer returned home late that night, he couldn’t believe what he saw. He choked back tears on the stand as he recounted entering his bedroom and finding the lifeless bodies of his wife, son and daughter.
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