A Rhode Island man pleaded guilty this week to charges related to killing his pregnant girlfriend and torching her apartment.
According to WPRI, 31-year-old Born Smith admitted beating Aliss Collins with a fire extinguisher in November 2015, killing her and her near-term baby boy. Smith was later confirmed to be the unborn child’s father.
After the murder, police say Smith set fire to the home. Emergency crews responded to the blaze and found Collins’ body in the bathroom with multiple head wounds.
Her cause of death was listed as blunt-force trauma and smoke inhalation.
Investigators found the suspected murder weapon, a fire extinguisher with both Smith’s handprint and Collins’ blood on it, and arrested Smith.
Following his guilty plea to first-degree murder and first-degree arson, he was sentenced to two life sentences to be served concurrently. His first opportunity for parole will come in 25 years.
His victim’s family is left to remember her impact on their lives.
“My sweet Aliss, my little sister who hated getting her hair braided,” recalled sister Leemu Seabrook.
She said Collins “laughed, and made you laugh.”
Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin addressed Collins’ family in a statement related to Thursday’s courtroom development, Cranston Patch reported.
“Today’s plea marks just over two years since this terrible crime shattered the lives of Aliss’ family, yet there is no amount of time sufficient to understand or accept the loss they experienced,” he said.
In memory of the victim and in commemoration of a yearly family trip to an apple orchard, her family is planning to plant an apple tree.
Collins reportedly last went apple picking a couple of months before her murder. Her aunt displayed a photo of that trip in court.
[Featured image: Born Smith/Cranston Police]