A Shreveport man has been found guilty in the 2021 murder of five-year-old Mya Patel.

On Jan. 13, District Judge John D. Mosely Jr.’s court found Joseph Lee Smith, 35, responsively guilty of manslaughter in connection with the March 2021 slaying of Patel.

On March 20, 2021, Patel was playing in her hotel room in the 4900 block of Monkhouse Drive when a bullet entered her room and struck her in the head. Patel was rushed to Ochsner LSU Health, where she battled for three days and was pronounced dead on March 23.

During Smith’s trial, it was revealed to the jury that on March 20, Smith got into an altercation with another man in the parking lot of the Super 8 Motel.

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The motel was owned and operated at that time by Vimal and Snehal Patel, who lived in a ground-floor unit with Mya and a younger sibling.

During the altercation, Smith struck the other man with a 9-mm handgun, which discharged. The bullet missed the other man but went into the apartment and struck Patel in the head before grazing her mother.

Smith will return to court on Feb. 27. He faces a prison sentence of up to 40 years at hard labor for the manslaughter conviction, as well as up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for the aggravated battery conviction and up to 40 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000 for the obstruction conviction.

Makenzie Boucher is a reporter with the Shreveport Times. Contact her at

This article originally appeared on Shreveport Times: Shreveport man found guilty for the murder of 5-year-old



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