A life sentence was imposed last Friday upon Damieyon Dontrell O’Neal for the 2017 shooting death of Kaycha Smith.

The body of Smith, who was pregnant, was found in a field in Jackson County. Authorities say O’Neal shot her three times and left her body there on April 27, 2017.

Some time prior to sentencing, O’Neal had entered an open plea to second-degree murder in the case, with no sentencing agreement included in that plea.

The sentence imposed by Circuit Judge James J. Goodman was announced by the state attorney’s office.

Authorities from that agency said in a press release that the state was prepared to prove at trial that O’Neal shot Smith three times and left her body on the edge of the field. Smith was pregnant and claimed O’Neal was the father of the child, officials said, and had obtained an injunction for protection against O’Neal two months earlier.

Officials say O’Neal told his brother that he had killed Smith, and a third party led investigators to the murder weapon. It was located in a drainage ditch in Panama City.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Bob Sombathy, Chief of Major Crimes, and was investigated by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and the Chipley Police Department.

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