Following an eight-year investigation by authorities, a woman from Atlantic County will be spending the next 30 years in prison for murdering her boyfriend in 2006.

According to the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, on the night of June 29, 2006, Egg Harbor Township police responded to the Heathercroft Condo complex and found 32-year-old Darius Smith suffering from head injuries. Smith was taken to ARMC-City where he died hours later.

An eight-year-long investigation led Smith's girlfriend, then 35-year-old Eileen Leone, to be indicted on a first degree murder charge in September, 2014. Leone was arrested that same day on the 8000 block of Longport Boulevard in Margate, which is where she was living.

During a trial earlier this year, the prosecutor's office presented evidence that Leone and Smith had been involved in an argument which lead to Leone striking Smith from behind repeatedly with a fireplace poker. The state alleged those actions caused Smith's skull to shatter, which led to his death.

A trial in Superior Court wrapped-up on January 19th after a jury deliberated for four hours. On Friday, Leone, who is now 46 years old, was sentenced to 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

In a press release, Assistant Prosecutor David Ruffenach said, "it took ten years to bring this matter to its proper conclusion, and although we know that nothing can make up for the loss of a family's loved one, we are happy that we could provide some justice and provide come peace for the family of Darius Smith."



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