PAWTUCKET, R.I. – A 20-year-old Rhode Island woman pleaded guilty Thursday and was sentenced immediately to life in prison for the 2020 murder of her ex-boyfriend’s mother.
According to the office of Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha, Shaylyn Moran of Pawtucket pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and carrying a pistol without a license in the shooting death of 54-year-old Cheryl Smith, WPRI reported.
In addition to the life sentence on the murder charge, Moran also received consecutive 10-year terms for the additional charges, The Providence Journal reported.
Moran did not shoot Smith but was considered by investigators to be an accomplice to the killing, carried out by her fiancé, 25-year-old Jack Doherty, WPRI reported.
According to Neronha’s office, Moran and Doherty developed a long-distance relationship in the months leading up to the murder and conspired to attack Moran’s ex-boyfriend, Leonard Troufield III. Doherty then traveled to Rhode Island from New York on Dec. 31, 2019, to visit Moran and brought along a 9mm pistol.
The couple later attended a New Year’s Eve party, where Doherty proposed, and then decided after returning to their Pawtucket hotel room to go to her ex-boyfriend’s house and shoot whoever opened the door. Investigators determined that Doherty shot Smith four times in the chest at her Baxter Street home, and she was pronounced dead at an area hospital on Jan. 1, 2020, WPRI reported.
Doherty was in possession of the handgun when detectives arrested them Jan. 2 as they left their hotel room, the TV station reported.
Doherty remains held without bail while awaiting trial on murder and a host of other charges, The Providence Journal reported.
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