Killer Houseguest Found Guilty

Oakland Press (Pontiac, Mich.), March 25, 2006

Dorothy Smith’s kindness and Christian beliefs led her to help a homeless crack addict. He repaid her kindness—something her family had urged her to reconsider—by killing both Smith and her husband, Lloyd. On Friday, a jury needed only two hours to convict Robert Dawayne Jackson of two counts of first-degree premeditated murder. He will be sentenced to life without parole April 7.

Brothers Lloyd Smith III and Greg Smith wish their mother had never met Jackson.

They sat through the weeklong trial of their parents’ killer, who stabbed the couple multiple times Sept. 7, 2005, inside their Farmington home. The Smiths had allowed Jackson to stay with them sporadically after meeting him at their church in 1991. “I was always nervous about him,” said Greg Smith, 55, of Okemos. Dorothy Smith, 85, died at the scene.

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Lloyd Smith III, 62, of New Jersey, said he called various law enforcement and prison personnel, asking what he should do about Jackson.

Their message was unanimous: “Get this man away from your mother.”

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In 1996, Jackson took the Smiths’ car and money from their daughter, who suffers from cerebral palsy. Two years later, he broke into the Smiths’ home, robbed them, and left them locked in the basement. He was sent to prison for five years.

“Despite the betrayal, they were still very extremely giving people,” said Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Paul Walton.

Despite the crimes, Dorothy Smith remained committed to helping Jackson, even visiting him in prison.

“I think that (the warnings) just strengthened her resolve to help him,” Greg Smith said.

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