Julius Smith, the final suspect in the 2011 murder of a Lewisville resident, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Smith entered his guilty plea July 25 in a Denton County court. The other suspects in the murder had already been sentenced. Tyrone Negale Jenkins was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in June. In April 2013, Markell Hardy was tried for murder, but it resulted in a mistrial. Before Hardy’s case came before another judge and jury, he accepted a plea bargain for a 40-year prison sentence and pleaded guilty to murder.
“Julius Smith was sentenced to 17 years in prison based on his role in the crime and his cooperation with police following his arrest,” said Michael Moore, chief of the felony trial division for the criminal district attorney’s office. “As the driver of the car, Julius Smith was a party to the offense.”
The three men were convicted for the murder of Trevor Kronbach. On Dec. 20, 2011, Kronbach was found shot to death inside his apartment in the 1900 block of Lakeview Circle. Lewisville police originally responded to a call of “shots fired” the night Kronbach was murdered. Sgt. Bill Wawro and Rob Feagins, who were both detectives at the time, responded to the scene. The detectives, along with other investigative personnel, were able to identify the suspects, and one was arrested that same day. Warrants were issued for threeother suspects and, on Christmas Day 2011, the remaining three suspects were located and arrested in Mississippi. There were four original suspects, but police did not bring a case on the fourth.
“Julius drove Tyrone Jenkins and Markell Hardy to the victim’s apartment. Jenkins and Hardy went inside the victim’s apartment and committed the robbery/murder,” Moore said. “The victim’s family approved the 17-year plea offer in the Julius Smith case.”
Moore said during the Smith trail, the state was confronted with witnesses who were hesitant to provide information to the police or participate in the trial.
“Each defendant has been held accountable for their role in this crime and is now behind bars,” Moore said. “Hopefully, the family can feel some small level of closure.”