Jury hands down guilty verdict in Wichita woman’s 2016 shooting death at apartment

A jury on Wednesday found a Wichita man guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a woman at her apartment on Oct. 8, 2016.

The Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office announced the verdict in a tweet that also thanked jurors for their service. Robert E. Smith, 44, is scheduled for sentencing on July 10, according to the tweet and court records.

Donna O’Neal, 55, was gunned down around 9:15 p.m. at Water’s Edge Apartments, near Central and Waco, after an armed intruder broke in, Wichita police said previously. She died at a Wichita hospital about an hour and a half later, The Eagle reported at the time.

Smith’s trial, his second in the case, started May 8. The first trial ended with a hung jury in July 2021, court records show.

In addition to murder, Smith was also found guilty of aggravated burglary, attempted aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated assault and criminal possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, said Dan Dillon, a spokesman for the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.

The jury reached its verdict around 2 p.m. after deliberating for around three hours.