Man sentenced to 20 years for shooting 4-year-old boy in Cleveland

CLEVELAND-- A man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Wednesday morning in the shooting of a 4-year-old boy.

John Smith, 22, pleaded guilty to felonious assault and attempted felonious assault.

"They traumatized us," said Cecelia Hill, the victim's mother. "Seven condition he has to live with for the rest of his life. He had two brain surgeries. I can't work because I have to take care of my baby... As a mother you're supposed to protect your kids. That night I had no control."

Carter Hill was riding in a car with his mother and his sister on Aug. 7, 2017. They were on Interstate 90 in the area of Dead Man's Curve when shots rang out.

His mom exited the highway at East 55th Street to call for help. The boy suffered a gunshot wound to his head, but police said the bullet fragments did not penetrate his brain.

During the proceedings on Wednesday, there were several disruptions that resulted in people being removed from the courtroom. Smith laughed and smiled until it came time for him to speak. Then, he began to cry.

Smith was arrested two days after the shooting. TheĀ U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Task Force arrested his co-defendant, Leon Edwards, in Goodwater, Alabama the following day.

Edwards was acquitted last week after Smith refused to testify in the case.

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