Leader of group convicted for violent crime spree sentenced to life

Andrew Kramer
November 19, 2018 - 8:10 pm
The leader of a group of 20 criminals learned his fate in Federal Court on Monday.

Andrew Kramer/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The leader of a group of 20 criminals, who was convicted last year for committing a series of violent crimes throughout the Delaware Valley, learned his fate in Federal Court on Monday. 

Khalil Smith's loved ones shouted "it's going to be ok" as he was taken away in handcuffs, right after U.S District Judge Mitchell Goldberg revealed the 35-year-old would be spending the rest of his life behind bars.

Smith was the ringleader of a group who committed a series of what the U.S. attorney's office calls "horrifying crimes" during a 20-month stretch from 2012 to 2014.

During final testimony, prosecutors read out the names of Smith's victims.

"I think it was important for the court to consider the victims when imposing sentence in this case. Mr. Smith asked the court essentially to give him a break in his sentence. I thought the court should consider all the victims before determining whether or not a break was appropriate, and of course I argued to the court it was not," said Salvatore Astolfi, one of the prosecutors. 

Smith told the judge that a life sentence was not warranted, with his lawyer arguing Smith is a person who can be rehabilitated.

But the judge ultimately decided on the life sentence for Smith, plus 207 years in prison. 

"Mr. Smith and his group of bandits, for years, terrorized people and created a lot of problems for the community, and he'll have that to think about the rest of his life in prison," Astolfi said.