Baxley assault suspects sentenced to prison

(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)

CAMDEN CO., GA (WTOC) - It's a case that got worldwide attention. The couple that assaulted a Baxley restaurant owner and her daughter were sentenced to prison in court Friday.

Eric Smith and his wife Latasha went to court asking for a lesser sentence after they plead guilty to assault and child cruelty. We showed you the security footage back in June when it happened.

The victims testified to the lasting impacts the attack has had on them.

"The two of you affected not only our lives but the lives of our family and my employees," Jeanett Norris said. The two of you took away the trust I have in people."

Latasha Smith stood accused of assault and Eric Smith of child cruelty for striking 15-year-old Makiddian Norris who says she's now apprehensive about being around people for worry of being attacked again.

"One day I'll forgive you, Eric, but that day won't be anytime soon," she said.

Eric Smith offered to apologize to the Norrises in court, but prosecutors said that could only come from the witness stand, and he'd be open to cross-examination, so he declined. However, his wife took the stand and said Jeanett Norris berated the Smiths when they complained about their food, called them racial slurs, and slammed Latasha's hand in the drive-through window. As for why the Smiths stayed on the run for weeks before surrendering...

"Because of all of the threats that were all over social media, like both of us needed to be hanged like the old days," Smith said.

Judge Robert Guy sentenced Latasha Smith to 10 years with two in prison, and Eric Smith received 15 years with eight to serve.

"It's satisfying to get it out and let them know how they impacted and affected our lives, but it still doesn't satisfy it," Jeanett said.

In addition, the Smiths must repay $4,000 in the Norris' medical bills and be banned from Appling County. Both have been ordered to take anger management.

The video, shared with us by Baxley Police, has been viewed millions of times since June. People in South Georgia began contacting police to identify the pair. Two weeks later, they surrendered in Bryan County.

Below is the surveillance video from the attack on June 22, 2017. (NOTE: Timestamp displays incorrect date.):

Copyright 2018 WTOC. All rights reserved.