A man from Tyler, Texas, accused of murder in the deaths of two dentists pleaded guilty Monday.
Steven Alexander Smith, 42, was arrested on March 16, 2022, after Dr. Jack Burroughs Jr. and Dr. Blake Sinclair of Affordable Dentures were shot and killed in their place of business.
Smith was charged with capital murder of multiple persons.
On Monday, Smith pleaded guilty to the charge in Judge Debby Gunter’s court.
According to District Attorney Jacob Putman, Smith entered the plea and accepted an automatic life sentence for the capital murder conviction.
“The victims have waited a long time for this day. The defendant pled to capital murder and he will never be released from prison. We are thankful for the hard work of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and prosecutors Noah Coltman and Zach Gilmore,” Putman said.
In the original case, the investigation revealed that Smith was a patient at the clinic. He reportedly became angry at clinic staff and retreated to his pickup located in the parking lot. He then returned and entered into the lobby area where he was met by clinic personnel, witnesses said.
Smith had a handgun and ultimately shot the two doctors who were working inside the business, according to the sheriff’s office.
In November, the Smith County District Attorney’s Office announced they would not be seeking the death penalty in Smith’s case.
Monday’s hearing was intended to be the start of Smith’s trial by jury.