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Upstate man pleads guilty to murdering woman with baseball bat

STAFF REPORTS
Published on Wednesday, July 28, 2021

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William Tommie Smith, 66, interrupted his jury trial to plead guilty to the murder of Brenda Kay Tanner, 55, on Dec. 2, 2018. Tanner died of 9-10 blows to the head.
 

Spartanburg County Jail

William Tommie Smith, 66, interrupted his jury trial to plead guilty to the murder of Brenda Kay Tanner, 55, on Dec. 2, 2018. Tanner died of 9-10 blows to the head.

 

An Inman man received a 40-year prison sentence Tuesday for using a baseball bat to beat a woman to death.

William Tommie Smith, 66, interrupted his jury trial to plead guilty to murder. Smith killed Brenda Kay Tanner, 55, on Dec. 2, 2018 at Smith’s Waters Road home. Tanner died of 9-10 blows to the head.

Smith called 911 to report the crime. Smith admitted to smoking crack cocaine during the 911 telephone call and he told the operator he would turn himself in. Smith turned himself into the Spartanburg County jail that same day.

When deputies visited Smith’s house, they found Tanner in a bedroom with electrical cord wrapped around her neck 3 times and tied in several knots. The baseball bat was on the bed beside her body.

"Brenda Kay Turner’s death was a senseless tragedy," Solicitor Barry Barnette said. "I hope her family and friends can rest easier knowing that William Tommie Smith will spend the balance of his life in prison."

Smith’s prior criminal record includes conviction for criminal domestic violence.

Circuit Judge Derham Cole presided over the case.

 

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