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Murder Comes to Town examines case of family who plotted to kill their sister Gail Smith for inheritance

Gail Smith murder
Gail Smith was shot dead by Tony Sharpe (R) after being hired by Tim Smith (L) with knowledge of sist Deborah (C)

This week Murder Comes to Town examines the murder of Berryville, Va., councilwoman Gail Smith.

In an episode titled Roses Are Red, Murder Is Too, the show examines a crime that shocked the small community of Berryville.

It was July 30, 2009, when Gail Smith was found dead in her home having been shot once in the head.

Turned out that her brother Timothy Smith had hired Tony Sharpe to kill his sister Gail in order to ensure he got control of his ill father’s estate, worth some $315,000.

Eventually Sharpe pleaded guilty to the shooting and Timothy Smith was charged with capital murder, conspiracy to commit murder and the use of a firearm in commissioning a felony.

It was not until 2015 that 56-year-old Timothy Smith was found guilty and given 20 years for the murder, 10 years for the conspiracy and 3 for the firearm charge.

His other sister, 63-year-old Deborah Smith, was sentenced to seven years for perjury and one for obstruction. She’d previously denied knowing anything about the plan, but it later transpired her brother had told her.

The case was a complicated one with Timothy Smith originally only being found guilty of planning the murder, but not actually going ahead. There had also been various plots involving everything from faking a robbery to releasing poisonous snakes in Smith’s home.

Murder Comes to Town airs Saturdays at 10:00 PM on Investigation Discovery. 

James Wray


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