Cuyahoga County

19-year-old receives 25 years for causing deadly crash that killed 3 friends


Cleveland -- Thomas Smith will spend the next 25 years in prison for a stolen car crash that took the lives of three teens riding with him and seriously injured four others.

It began last May at about 11:30 p.m. when a man left his car to go into a convenience store. A young man stole it and he and seven others were off on a joy ride. It ended about 5 hours later with a pot-fused crash that took out a telephone pole and a brick wall. It also snuffed out three lives.

Diamond Williams, 17, of Warrensville Heights, Damond G. Lawrence, 19, of Maple Heights and 13-year-old Demonta Wilson, also of Maple Heights were killed. The five others, including Smith was injured.

Smith said nothing in a courtroom at times ringed by as many as eight security guards, refusing to even make eye contact with his victim's family members, some angry. At one point Judge Daniel Gaul cautioned "Hey my man, if you want to speak you're going to be escorted from the court." The man left.

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