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PA Man With Long History of Abuse Sentenced For Strangling Girlfriend To Death at PA Motel


A Morrisville man was sentenced on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, to serve 23 ½ to 47 years in state prison for killing 39-year-old Jamie Beighley inside a Falls Township motel in July 2021.

Evan Marquis Smith, 39, was convicted in September during a three-day waiver trial on charges of third-degree murder, aggravated assault, strangulation, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault, fleeing and eluding and driving without headlights to avoid detection.

Before handing down the sentence, Common Pleas Judge Raymond F. McHugh heard impact statements from the Beighley’s sister, brother, mother, and best friend, calling her a loving mother of five who was always there for family and friends who needed her. “She was my best friend and biggest supporter,” her younger sister said, breaking down crying as she read her statement. Beighley’s loved ones called for McHugh to sentence Smith to the maximum sentence allowed, describing him as a monster, manipulative and a “true danger to society and his kids.”

In addition to the state prison sentence, McHugh ordered Smith to have no contact with Beighley’s family.

Falls Township Police Officers were dispatched at 11:41 p.m. on July 1, 2021, to the New Falls Motel, arriving to find a woman, later identified as Beighley, on the floor of the motel room without a pulse. Blood was on the victim’s head, face and hands, and a pool of blood was on the bed. Smith was also in the motel room, but at some point, he became uncooperative and fled the scene.

Smith left out of the motel parking lot with his headlights off and at a high rate of speed, nearly striking an ambulance arriving to help the victim. Officers pursued Smith for a short distance before terminating the pursuit in the interest of public safety. He was arrested a short time later near his children’s home in Morrisville. Beighley was taken to the hospital and never regained consciousness. She died from her injuries three days later. Her cause of death was ruled to be strangulation.

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During the waiver trial, Bucks County Deputy District Attorney Mary Kate Kohler detailed a history of domestic violence committed by Smith against Beighley. Kohler presented 322 pages of text messages that detailed the tumultuous relationship. In many of the text messages, sent from early May 2021 to just days before Beighley’s murder, Smith threatened to injure and kill Beighley and members of her family.

Kohler said it would have taken at least four minutes of deliberate and continued pressure and substantial force to kill Beighley.

“This was personal,” she said. “Jamie was leaving him after 18 years of torture and violence.”


BCDAO

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