Smith guilty, turns state’s evidence


By Laurie Hamame - lhamame@aimmediamidwest.com



Qwanda Woodson and Justin Smith appear in court Wednesday for plea bargain hearings stemming from the Jan. 23 death of Cody Snyder.

Qwanda Woodson and Justin Smith appear in court Wednesday for plea bargain hearings stemming from the Jan. 23 death of Cody Snyder.


Laurie Hamame | Oberlin News-Tribune

Justin Smith pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges arising from the January shooting death of Cody Snyder in Elyria.

The 18-year-old former Oberlin High School basketball player agreed to testify against Kajuan Anderson, 19, of Elyria, and accepted reduced counts of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated robbery, and trafficking in drugs.

All three have gun specifications with minimum sentences of at least six years in prison.

Qwanda Woodson, 17, of Elyria also pleaded guilty to the same charges in a hearing in front of visiting Judge Robert Brown.

Woodson was 16 and Smith was 17 when Snyder, 19, was gunned down during a drug deal, according to Elyria police. However, they were to be tried as adults.

Anderson, 19, of Elyria, allegedly pulled the trigger. He faces charges of aggravated murder, murder, aggravated robbery, robbery, and tampering with evidence.

Woodson and Smith will be sentenced after Anderson’s trial, which is set for Dec. 3.

Bond was originally set at $500,000 for the murder charge. Smith’s lawyer, in light of the manslaughter plea, is trying to have the amount lowered to $50,000.

Two others are charged in connection with this case.

Jeffrey Miraldi, 20, of Elyria, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, trafficking in drugs, four counts of tampering with evidence, possession of drugs, and permitting drug abuse. Jenna Turner, 20, of Middleburg Heights, was indicted on three counts of tampering with evidence.

Miraldi drove Turner, and Snyder to Clinton Avenue to sell marijuana to Woodson and Smith, who planned to rob the three with the help of Anderson, police said.

Mid-transaction, Anderson allegedly opened the back door of the vehicle and showed a pistol. A confrontation ensued and Anderson shot Snyder in the chest, police said.

Miraldi drove Snyder to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center, where Snyder died from the bullet wound in his chest, police said.

Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.

Qwanda Woodson and Justin Smith appear in court Wednesday for plea bargain hearings stemming from the Jan. 23 death of Cody Snyder.
https://www.theoberlinnewstribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2018/07/web1_IMG_9348.jpgQwanda Woodson and Justin Smith appear in court Wednesday for plea bargain hearings stemming from the Jan. 23 death of Cody Snyder.

Laurie Hamame | Oberlin News-Tribune

By Laurie Hamame

lhamame@aimmediamidwest.com