‘Sadistic executioner’ sentenced for murdering ex-girlfriend in front of her toddler daughter


Jermaine Mandley shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, Maya Smith, in front of her 2-year-old daughter, prosecutors said. (Mug shot: Will County State's Attorney)

Jermaine Mandley shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, Maya Smith, in front of her 2-year-old daughter, prosecutors said. (Mug shot: Will County State’s Attorney)

The “sadistic executioner” who shot and killed his ex-girlfriend after she dumped him is set to spend the rest of his days behind bars. Jermaine Mandley, 48, was sentenced on Monday to life in the Illinois prison system.

Prosecutors in Will County said he appeared in alleyway surveillance footage stepping out of a vehicle and opening fire at Maya Smith, 24.

“A surveillance video of the alley from the Southside Civic Club captured an individual exiting the front passenger door of the vehicle and standing in the doorway, facing the inside of the vehicle with the door still open,” they wrote. “The video captured what appeared to be muzzle flashes inside the vehicle. It then showed the individual shutting the vehicle’s door, running away, going back to the vehicle, and running again.”

Officers, responding to a call of a suspicious silver Nissan Rogue parked in the alley just after midnight on Jan. 8, found Smith dead inside the car, shot multiple times in the head and abdomen. Her 2-year-old daughter was in the back seat. Shell casings lay on the front passenger side of the vehicle.

The child sustained no apparent physical injury, cops said at the time.

Investigators found Mandley’s DNA on the passenger interior door handle, which was the same one the shooter exited on video.

Four minutes after the shooting, Mandley’s face appeared on a Ring video camera at a friend’s home down the block.

That friend, former co-worker David Ervins, testified with others that Mandley appeared “nervous” and “frantic” that night, according to Shaw Local News Network. The defendant had also been armed with a gun.

Prosecutors reportedly showed that Mandley had been cheating on his wife with Smith. The Channahon Police Department investigated an allegation in June 2022 that he attacked Smith and threw her in a vehicle trunk, but the victim did not want to proceed with charges.

Texts leading up to the murder showed Mandley badgering her to get back together, but Smith told him to leave her alone. According to prosecutors, she agreed to meet him on Jan. 7.

“Her life was cut short senselessly all because she told someone she didn’t want to have anything to do with them,” Smith’s great aunt, Bonnie Winfrey, said, according to Shaw Local.

Officers caught Mandley after he used a new Snapchat account to contact his wife the day after the murder and told her to meet him at an Indiana casino. Instead, she recorded their phone call and told the cops.

Jurors convicted Mandley on Aug. 17 of three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of endangering the life of a child.

Mandley previously served 15 years in prison for reckless homicide. Fleeing the police while drunk, he drove through a red light and crashed into another car. In doing so, he killed the couple inside: Rev. Charles Shyne Jr., 76 and retired school teacher, Verlena Shyne, 72.

He was also previously sentenced to three and a half years in prison for possessing a firearm as a felon.

“Jermaine Mandley is evil incarnate,” Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said. “He ruthlessly fired at least 7 shots at Maya Smith with her infant daughter just inches away. The sadistic executioner was caught on video saying, ‘killed that b—-’ and ‘she dead – call that b—- now.’ He has repeatedly demonstrated throughout his extensive criminal history an utter lack of respect for the sanctity of human life. The daughter of Maya Smith now faces a life sentence without her mother. Although Mandley’s life sentence can never bring Maya back, he is exorcised from civilized society for the remainder of his satanic life.”

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