Richard Lonard Smith, II is my nephew. We called him Boomer. Boomer was a member of the National Honor Society; an all A student throughout his high school years graduating with honors; an all district and all upper Cumberland football player and the offensive MVP for the Monterey Wildcats in 2009 and 2010; he also attended boys state in 2009. In the early morning hours of March 24, 2012 Boomer was killed when a friend hit him in the back of the head with his fist in Putnam County Tennessee. Boomer's friend had been in an altercation with another boy and was angry. Boomer attempted to calm him down. As Boomer turned his back on this young man he lunged and punched Boomer in the back of his head with everything he had. Boomer went to the ground never to get up again. Boomer turned 20 on March 10, 14 days before his death. Our justice system is going to charge this young man that took his life in such a reckless manner with a class C felony for aggravated assault. There is no class b felony for aggravated assault resulting in death in Tennessee. Our family is not the only family in Tennessee to experience a loss under similar circumstances. Those families, mine included, find themselves at the mercy of an inadequate justice system in the name of "state budget". A bill to amend the sentencing in cases such as this was presented last year in the Tennessee General Assembly in 2011 by Senator Ken Yager of Roane County and Representative Jim Coley of Shelby County and was pulled due to the "added expense to the state budget". Is there a price on the life of another taken in such a reckless manner? Our family does not think so. People who take such reckless chances with the welfare of another need to be held accountable for their actions. Would you please help us gain state attention by supporting us in our petition to amend Tennessee Code Annotated 39 and 40 to increase sentencing in aggravated assault resulting in death to a class B felony? It is too late for Boomer but perhaps we can get this on the books so that another family will not have to deal with the powerlessness, frustration, pain, and anger that we have had to endure. If you want to know more about Boomer just google his name, "Boomer Smith - Monterey TN". He was an awesome young man, loved by many. We need your help in getting Boomer's Law on the books in Tennessee.
Here is the link to the bill presented by Ken Yager and Jim Coley last year.
Here is the link to the Estimated Fiscal Impact if this were to become law.