South Carolina

Five Points shooter to be sentenced Friday on federal gun charge

Michael Juan Smith, charged with last year’s Five Points shooting of USC freshman Martha Childress, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in federal court on a charge of being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Smith pleaded guilty in February to the gun charge. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

Smith’s trial for attempted murder in state court is pending.

In state court, his charges include attempted murder, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Smith, who was 20 at the time, is accused of firing his gun in the early morning hours of Oct. 13, 2013, while arguing with another man in Five Points. A stray bullet struck an 18-year-old Childress, who was standing in a taxi line near the Five Points fountain at the intersection of Harden and Greene streets.

Police said Smith was arguing with someone else and that Childress was an innocent bystander.

The bullet damaged several internal organs and paralyzed Childress from the waist down.

Childress underwent intensive therapy in Atlanta, learning to live in a wheelchair. She took spring semester classes from her home in the Upstate and is moving back to Columbia to attend classes on campus this fall.

Smith’s federal trail was postponed in December after his defense attorney said he needed more time to review the video footage from Five Points surveillance cameras. James P. Rogers said he had received a lot of footage to review. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey D. Haynes agreed with the request to delay the case.

Smith appeared in court in December wearing a navy blue Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center jumpsuit with shackles on his hands and feet. He said little to the judge but spoke with family and friends before the hearing began.