A story for every victim

Man sentenced to 158 years to life for killing woman over unpaid cable bill

A man was sentenced Oct. 22 to 158 years to life in prison for killing a woman and wounding her boyfriend in an argument about a $10 cable bill, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. 

Kenneth Theodrick Parks, a 55-year-old black man, was convicted Sept. 10 of one count of first-degree murder in the killing of Terri Kwan Smith, 42. He was also convicted of one count of attempted murder. Jurors also found true gun and great bodily injury allegations. 

The prosecutor said Parks and Smith rented out rooms at a home in the 5700 block of South 9th Avenue in Hyde Park. Smith had an 11-year-old daughter and a 20-month-old son, authorities said. The two had a weeklong dispute over a bill Smith had not paid.  

Parks was outside Smith’s room on April 14, 2014, when he opened fire, killing her. Smith’s 40-year-old boyfriend was also struck twice by gunfire. The boyfriend was able to grab the gun from Parks, the prosecutor added. 

Smith was pronounced dead at 7:05 a.m. at the scene. Her boyfriend was taken to a hospital where he recovered. 

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @jeromercampbell and @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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