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Fort Worth man gets life sentence in murder of pregnant girlfriend

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FORT WORTH - The 32-year-old Fort Worth man accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend in 2020 was sentenced to life in prison on Monday.

Police arrested Maurice Kelso Smith on Monday, June 29 for aggravated robbery following a carjacking at gunpoint after the deadly shooting of his girlfriend, Darionne Burley, who was pregnant with twin boys.  

On June 29, Smith and Burley were last seen exiting a Waffle House in the Fort Worth area. Within the hour, Smith shot Burley in the back of the head.  

Smith then drove to Mansfield where he stole a woman's car at gunpoint. He left his car at the scene of the robbery, where police discovered Burley in a bloody crime scene, according to court documents.   

Detectives found Smith at his home trying to clean the stolen car and destroy evidence of the murder and learned he robbed someone else in that neighborhood as well, and found Smith's clothes, which were covered in blood, and the murder weapon.

Ballistic evidence matched the firearm to the shell casing in the car where Burley was found and investigators discovered Smith illegally purchased the gun the day before. 

During the trial, the jury heard that despite having a "joyful gender reveal party," the month before, Smith also assaulted Burley in early June and was heavily using drugs at the time.

 "In June 2020, Darionne's friends and family were concerned for her safety and it turns out their concerns were valid,"  Assistant District Attorney Kate Hinojosa said, "because at the end of the month she would be dead at the hands of this Defendant." 

After the verdict, the Burley family read victim impact statements in court, saying, "there are no winners here," and detailed what life could have been for Burley and their family had he not killed her. 

He received an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the crime. 

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