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UPDATE–GUILTY and Gets Life Without Parole

Smithson (no shirt) after being found in a bean field in Cannon County. Billy Butler and Bill Sipe with Manchester Police take Smithson into custody in 2011... Photo by Barry West

The murder trial of a Manchester man wrapped up on Friday in Coffee County Circuit Court. Jeffrey Smithson was accused of murdering his 81-year-old aunt Virginia White in August of 2011 in her Ingram Place Apartment in Manchester. A jury on Friday found Smithson guilty of first degree murder, first degree felony murder, theft of over $1,000, and especially aggravated robbery. White’s body was discovered after neighbors reported not seeing her. She was found with panty hose wrapped around her neck, blood on her face, and she had what turned out to be a blow to the back of her head.
Smithson went on the run and was found a few days later in a field in Cannon County. He has been held in the Coffee County Jail under a $1 million bond. After hearing testimony from Virginia White’s sons that brought some to tears, Jeffrey Smithson was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole.