KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri, woman pleaded guilty in the death of her wife, while her wife’s children were in the same apartment.
Prosecutors charged Makayla Smith, 30, with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the deadly shooting of 35-year-old Jenna Nava in April 2022.
Smith was sentenced to SES probation or suspended execution of sentence for five years. If she fails in her probation, she faces a 10-year prison sentence.
Nava was killed around 10 p.m. on Jan. 25, 2022. Kansas City officers found her in a third-story apartment in a building near Eastern Avenue and Crystal Avenue.
Court documents show Nava’s 14-year-old daughter told police she was in the front room of the apartment when she heard someone jiggling to doorknob. She went to the back bedroom and woke her mom, who was sleeping at the time.
Nava got dressed and the teenager said she retrieved a kitchen knife and handed it to her mom as Nava opened the door.
Court documents show that Nava opened the door to let her estranged wife inside, but quickly closed it when she noticed another woman with Smith.
When the women began arguing, Nava told her daughter to call police. That’s when court documents show Smith pulled a gun and held it to Nava’s neck.
The 14-year-old grabbed her 10-year-old sister and a younger sister and the three children hid as she called for help. She told officers that they heard one gunshot, but didn’t come out of their hiding spot until police arrived.
Officers also interviewed a long-time friend of Smith’s who said the suspect told him her side of the story.
The man said Smith told him she’d accidentally shot Nava as they argued in the apartment.
Police found out from Smith’s friend that she was staying with her grandparents in Raytown. Officers went to the house and arrested both Smith and the woman who was with her at Nava’s apartment.
During the investigation detectives said they found several documented domestic violence reports involving Smith and Nava. That included a temporary protection order that expired on the day of the shooting. A full protection order was granted by courts, but had not been served.