DETROIT - Robert Autrey pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with the death of his ex-girlfriend.
Nicole Smith's body was found about two years after she went missing in 2016. The discovery is giving the grieving family closure, and an arrest and Autrey's guilty plea is giving them justice.
- Watch the sentencing hearing with victim impact statements, and a statement from Autrey, in the video posted above (coming soon).
Smith's family never stopped looking for her and her ex-boyfriend, Autrey, who the family describes as "pure evil."
Autrey was sentenced to 15-30 years in prison. He received 155 days of jail credit. He must be placed on the state of Michigan's registered sex offender's list for the rest of his life.
Autrey also received a concurrent sentencing for a sexual assault conviction.
This tragedy started in December 2016 when Smith's son, 18-month-old Izaeah, was dropped off at a police station by Autrey, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. The boy's grandfather, Conrad Green, picked him up after seeing him on the news. No one could find Smith.
Police held Autrey for questioning, but had to let him go. Initially, Autrey provided a false name and was thought to be a good Samaritan, the Prosecutor's Office said.
When he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and facing the possibility of life in prison, Autrey told police on Dec. 19, 2018, Smith's body could be found in an abandoned apartment on Detroit's west side.
Autrey was arrested charged with open murder but pleaded guilty to second-degree murder this past December.
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