Wilkinsburg man sentenced to more than 100 years for killing, robbery
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A Wilkinsburg man who lured a pizza deliveryman to an abandoned house and then killed him with a shotgun five years ago will likely die in prison.
William Mitchell, 22, was sentenced Tuesday to 99 to 198 years for shooting Boston Smithwick on April 19, 2007.
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge David Cashman also imposed two 10-to-20-year terms for robbery and conspiracy. All told, the maximum sentence is 238 years. Mitchell went on trial in April and was convicted in May on all counts.
His partner in the crime, Lance Dempster, 23, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in August. Judge Cashman sentenced him to 10 to 25 years.
Both men were 17 at the time of the killing, and the case had been delayed repeatedly while lawyers tried unsuccessfully to get them certified as juveniles.
Prosecutors said Mitchell and Dempster called Vocelli Pizza in Swissvale that night and ordered a pizza, giving the address of an abandoned house on Campbell Street near Mitchell's own home.
Knowing the area was dangerous, Mr. Smithwick, a former probation officer in Florida, offered to take the delivery from a pregnant co-worker so she wouldn't have to go.
When Mr. Smithwick arrived and got out of his car, Mr. Mitchell approached with a sawed-off shotgun and demanded money.
Mr. Smithwick refused to comply, saying "You're going to have to shoot me" and tried to grab the gun, according to court documents and testimony.
Mitchell then shot him in the leg. The blast severed his femoral artery, and he died of blood loss on the way to the hospital.
Police later found Mitchell's fingerprints on the hacksaw used to cut off the barrel of the shotgun, according to prosecutors. A witness, Warren Irvin, also identified him as the shooter.
The killing was among a series of ambush attacks on pizza delivery drivers in 2006 and 2007 across the region.
First Published November 28, 2012 12:00 am