Bossier Parish jury convicts woman in death of two detectives

Staff reports

BENTON - A Bossier Parish jury convicted Tanya Smith on two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the shooting deaths of two Bastrop Police Department detectives.

The jury, which deliberated just over four hours, found Smith guilty in the deaths of Detective Sergeants John Smith and Chuck Wilson and guilty on eight other weapons and drug charges.

Fourth District Attorney Jerry Jones said the verdict was especially meaningful for him.

“I watched these two grow from rookie patrolmen to detective sergeants,” Jones said. “I was defending two of my friends, not just prosecuting a case.”

Jurors voted 10-2 on each of the murder counts and unanimously to convict Smith on other charges brought by a Morehouse Parish grand jury after the officers were killed Aug. 10, 2007, at the Best Budget Inn in Bastrop. Smith's boyfriend, Dennis Clem, died in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officers just minutes after the detectives were killed.

Defense attorneys Louis Scott and Charles Kincade immediately appealed the verdicts.