Appeals Court Upholds 65-Year Prison Sentence Of Eddie Smith, Alabama Man Who Solicted Murder Of Federal Judge, Prosecutor, Deputy Sheriff And Newspaper Reporter

Edmond H. “Eddie” Smith IV had two plans: One was to pay a hitman to kill U.S. District Judge William H. Steele, assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Bordenkircher, a deputy sheriff, a former business associate and newspaper reporter.

Smith’s other plan was to implicate his murder targets in a plot to frame him by planting false evidence on their computers. Part of the framing plot involved smuggling bogus letters out of prison and planting them at the murder scenes of Steele, Bordenkircher and the others.

Steele and Bordenkircher work in the Southern District of Alabama.

According to court records, Smith wanted the bodies of Steele, Bordenkircher and at least one other person to be subjected to a complete “erasing.”

“They need to be wiped off the face of the earth,” Smith said, in a tape heard by the jury.

“Needs to be no f[!!!!!!]’ skulls. No f[!!!!!]’ teeth. No bones,” Smith said.

But he wanted to body of Eddie Curran, the reporter, to be found, according to the tape.

“And the only one they need to have a body for is f[!!!!!]’ Curran,” Smith said.

Senior U.S. District Judge William H. Stafford Jr. of the Northern District of Florida sentenced Smith to 65 years in federal prison for the murder plot. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the sentence last week.

Steele had been the presiding judge in a 2007 civil case against Smith, and also presided over a 2009 criminal case in which Smith was convicted of being a felon in possession of ammunition. The FBI learned of the murder plot and staged a sting, according to court records.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida prosecuted Smith’s murder-for-hire case. The FBI and the Mobile County, Ala., Sheriff’s Office assisted in the probe.


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