Woman who shot and killed victim in middle of LMPD homicide investigation accepts plea deal
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It was a scene of terror as shots were fired in the middle of an LMPD murder investigation. One woman gunned down another as crowds ran for cover.
Cheetara Goldsmith was scheduled to go to trial for the crime next week, but instead she took a plea deal that will send her to prison for up to 25 years.
Prosecutors say the confrontation started when both women showed up at the scene of a double murder involving their boyfriends.
As the sound of multiple gunshots rang out, people ducked behind cars and officers drew their weapons.
In May of 2012 on 32nd Street in West Louisville, Goldsmith shot 24-year-old Makeba Lee to death.
More than two years after the murder, Goldsmith took the plea deal.
"Who made the decision that you are going to plead guilty? I did," asked Jefferson Circuit Judge Charles Cunningham Jr.
"Do you understand that if I accept a guilty plea from you here today, giving all that up, there won't be a trial and there won't be an appeal?” Judge Cunningham asked.
Goldsmith simply said, “Yes.”
In handcuffs and a yellow, jail-issued jumpsuit, Goldsmith was all smiles as she answered questions from the judge -- even when the questions involved her mental health.
"Have you ever been diagnosed with any mental health things like bipolar disorder or depression?” Cunningham asked.
"I was diagnosed with, um, PTSD and, um, depression," answered Goldsmith.
Before the plea deal was accepted, the court and Goldsmith heard from Lee's mother.
"I just want you to look at me,” Aja Nkrumah said to Goldsmith. “I don't really have anything to say. I just want to see you. I just want to see you, that is all."
The judge eventually accepted the plea deal.
"I am going to sentence you to 25 years in penitentiary for the crime of murder, to which you have plead guilty here today," said Judge Cunningham.
As Goldsmith prepared to head back to jail, she was once again all smiles.
"I just wanted her to know that she's done changed somebody else's life besides her own," said Nkrumah.
But outside the courtroom Lee's mother criticized the sentence.
"They gave her a slap on the wrist," said Nkrumah. "I'll never be pleased with the outcome of it because it -- to me -- enough time is not enough. It's just not enough time. Not for a life."
Goldsmith will get credit for the three years she has been locked up at Metro Corrections. With time for good behavior, she could be out of prison in 17 years.
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