Independence man sentenced to over 20 years in prison for killing wife

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Ryan D. Smith

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A 43-year-old Independence man was sentenced Tuesday for the deadly July 2020 shooting of his wife Daina M. Smith.

Ryan D. Smith pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in August. He was sentenced on Tuesday by a Jackson County judge to 22 years in prison.

On July 26, 2020, officers were called to a home near 36th Street and South Greenwich Lane at about 10:30 p.m. on reports that a man had shot his wife.

As officers were walking toward the home, a man in a Jeep pulled out of the driveway and headed toward 37th Street. That’s when an unknown man yelled, “That man shot my mom,” pointing toward the Jeep, court documents say.

After using a “high-risk car stop,” officers were able to take the driver, identified as Smith, into custody. Smith then told police his wife had been shot by a stranger and needed help, according to court records.

Officers found Daina Smith dead inside the home with a gunshot wound to the head.

Investigators later interviewed Daina’s sons at police headquarters. One said a family friend had called him, saying something bad happened to his mother. After being unable to reach his mother, he called Ryan who allegedly said, “I shot your mom in the head. I need help.”

The son said his mother was unhappy with Ryan because he was what he called a severe alcoholic, court records say. The son’s wife said Daina wanted a divorce.

Ryan refused to speak with detectives on the incident.

In 2007, Ryan was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon and sentenced to probation. Court documents say his wife was the victim in that case.

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