PONTIAC, Mich. (Aug. 12, 2004) — A 31-year-old man has been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the double murder in 2003 of a tire store owner and an employee.
Bobby Smith of Pontiac was convicted in late July of two counts of first-degree murder and other charges. The life sentence was mandatory. He also was ordered to pay restitution to the families for funeral costs.
Mr. Smith killed City Tire Co. owner Richard Cummings, 57, and employee Stephen Putman, 33, on Jan. 7, 2003, in Pontiac. Assistant Prosecutor Ken Frazee said Mr. Smith shot Mr. Putman in the head execution-style, and Mr. Cummings tried to stop him by throwing a tire lock at him. Mr. Smith then shot Mr. Cummings twice in the head before stealing $600 from his pocket and an undetermined amount from the cash register.
“(The conviction and sentence) brings a great sense of relief to the entire community,” Mr. Frazee said.
During the sentencing, Mr. Smith said he had no comment, Mr. Frazee said. But Mr. Cummings' widow, Cindy Cummings, and Mr. Putman's father and sister addressed Mr. Smith.
“I personally lost my best friend and my soul mate,” Ms. Cummings said, according to local media. “Now you won't be able to take anybody else's life.…May Stephen and Rick be a constant reminder while you serve your time. I will never forgive you, ever.”
Mr. Frazee said he is “thrilled” with the result and feels confident that Mr. Smith received a fair trial.
“Hopefully (the families) can start to heal now,” he told Tire Business.