Las Vegas Man Sentenced for Murder of Former Little Rascal - 8 News NOW

LuAnne Sorrell, Reporter

Las Vegas Man Sentenced for Murder of Former Little Rascal

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Jay R. Smith Jay R. Smith
Photo from Our Gang Photo from Our Gang
Charles Crombie with Jay R. Smith Charles Crombie with Jay R. Smith

Click here to contact Reporter LuAnne Sorrell.

A Las Vegas man convicted of killing a former child actor, who starred in the old "Our Gang" comedies, was given two life sentences.

During the 1920s, Jay R. Smith was known as the freckle face kid in the Our Gang movies. They were better known to TV audiences as the "Little Rascals."

In October of 2002, the 87-year-old's body was found in a remote area of the desert near Apex. Charles Crombie admitted to stabbing Smith three times in Smith's Las Vegas home. Smith had befriended the homeless Crombie, and let him live in his shed.

Thursday, Smith's granddaughter, Darlla Wann, spoke to Crombie at his sentencing in court. "I just wanted to tell you that you had no right to do what you did to my grandpa. All he was trying to do was help you get on your feet and you murdered him," Wann said.

Wann says Crombie not only took Smith away from her family, but all of America. "I hope his ghost haunts you every night you lay in your cell until you die," she continued.

Crombies attorney, Bob Amundson, said the murder was not premeditated. "He stabbed a man three times and he doesn't even remember doing it," Amundson said.

But the prosecution argued the murder was premeditated, pointing to how Crombie stole Smith's car after the murder using it to dump Smith's body in the desert.

District Court Judge Jackie Glass called the murder senseless and tragic. "It's sad and it's unacceptable and you're going to spend a significant amount of time in the Nevada State Prison," Glass added.

Glass sentenced Crombie to two life sentences. He'll be eligible for parole in 40 years.

A motive for Smith's murder has never been established.

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