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Eileen Leone

Woman who killed boyfriend with fireplace poker sentenced to 30 years

by Jacquelyn Gray, Contributor

A New Jersey woman who killed her boyfriend with a fireplace poker a decade ago was sentenced to 30 years in prison Friday.

Eileen Leone, 46, killed her boyfriend, Darius Smith, 32, in the Egg Harbor Township condo they shared with their 4-year-old daughter on June 29, 2006. Arguing the entire day, Leone repeatedly struck Smith from behind with the weapon as he sat on the couch, according to The Press of Atlantic City.

Responding officers found Smith in the home with head injuries. Sustaining a skull fracture, he was taken to a hospital where he died hours later. An autopsy conducted by Atlantic County Medical Examiner Dr. Hydow Park determined the 32-year-old died from blunt-force trauma to the head.

Prosecutors said Leone provided “wildly conflicting versions of the events.” At one point, she told authorities her boyfriend was attacked by unknown assailants on the night in question. Leone was indicted for murder on September 9, 2014, following an eight-year investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit.

The 46-year-old was found guilty on January 19 following a seven-day trial. The jury deliberated for less than four hours, according to the Associated Press.

Leone was previously held in the Atlantic County jail on $750,000 bail. NJ.com reported that Leone is not eligible for parole.

Assistant Prosecutor David Ruffenach said in a statement: “It took ten years to bring this matter to its proper conclusion, and although we know that nothing can make up for the loss of a family’s loved one, we are happy that we could provide some justice and provide some peace for the family of Darius Smith.”

[Feature Photo: Atlantic County Department of Public Safety]

Jacquelyn Gray is a New Jersey-based writer and journalist. When she's not covering crime, she's probably tweeting or doing yoga.