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Missouri Man Beat Dad to Death with Golf Club for Trying to Break Up Fight with His Fiancée

People logo People 1/7/2022 Chris Harris

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Nicholas Smoot © Provided by People Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Nicholas Smoot

This week, a jury in Missouri found a 29-year-old man guilty of second-degree murder in the 2019 beating death of his father.

Online records confirm Wednesday's verdict against Nicholas Smoot, who was also convicted of armed criminal action and domestic assault.

Nicholas will be sentenced next month, and faces up to life in prison.

The murder occurred in Hillsboro on Dec. 19, 2019.

Investigators learned that Nicholas was physically assaulting his fiancée when his 53-year-old father, Eric Smoot, tried intervening.

Eric, a retired Hillsboro Fire Protection District captain whose health was suffering, died after being bludgeoned to death with a metal golf club.

The incident unfolded inside a house the three were sharing.


Video: Missouri man sentenced to 28 years for murdering wife (NBC News)

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When responding officers arrived, they saw Nicholas standing over his father's body, wielding a bottle. The officers believed the son was about to strike his father with the bottle.

Eric was rushed to Mercy Hospital Jefferson after the attack and died the same day.

Hillsboro Fire Protection District Eric Smoot © Provided by People Hillsboro Fire Protection District Eric Smoot

Leader Publications covered the three-day trial and report that Nicholas' fiancée testified against him.

Witnesses testified Eric suffered blunt force trauma injuries, as well as fractured ribs and lacerations and bruises to his head, chest, neck, arms, legs and back.

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In court, jurors learned the incident followed an intense night of drinking and marijuana smoking.

"He lost it that night," Jefferson County Assistant Prosecutor Travis Partney said in his closing arguments. "The fact he was drunk didn't matter. He knew how frail his dad was. He was trying to seriously hurt his dad."

The jury deliberated for less than three hours.

It was unclear Friday if Nicholas' attorneys plan to appeal. They could not be reached for comment.

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