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Woman who killed boyfriend with fireplace poker sentenced to 30 years in prison

Woman who killed boyfriend with fireplace poker sentenced to 30 years in prison


MAYS LANDING — A woman who killed her boyfriend with a fireplace poker more than 10 years ago has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Eileen Leone, 46, was sentenced Friday in Atlantic County Superior Court for the June 29, 2006, murder of Darius Smith, 32, in their home in Egg Harbor Township’s Heather Croft Condominium complex.

About 9:30 p.m. that day, police responded to a 911 call made by Leone. Officers arrived to find Smith suffering from head injuries. He died hours later at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus in Atlantic City. The medical examiner determined Smith died from blunt-force trauma.

An eight-year investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit led to the arrest and indictment of Leone on Sept 9, 2014.

Evidence presented by Assistant Prosecutor David Ruffenach found Leone and Smith had an argument during the day, which caused Leone to attack Smith and strike him repeatedly with the poker.

On Jan. 19, 2017, Leone was found guilty of murder, after a seven-day trial and four hours of jury deliberation.

Leone was previously held in the Atlantic County jail on $750,000 bail.

She will have to serve a full 30-year sentence in state prison and is not eligible for parole.

Contact: 609-272-7286

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Staff Writer

Joined the Press in November 2016. Graduate of Quinnipiac University. Previously worked as a freelance reporter in suburban Philadelphia and news/talk radio producer.

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