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35 years in prison for man’s murder

Robert A. Smith

Robert A. Smith

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Updated: March 23, 2013 6:17AM

Phillip O’Bryant, 23, had just called his barber to say he would arrive in a few minutes. The married father of one never made it because a Waukegan man shot him in the head.

Robert Smith, 21, was recently sentenced to 35 years in prison for the shooting. Smith was convicted of the offense Oct. 17, 2012, according to Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Ken LaRue.

On Aug. 5, 2011, Smith pulled his car up beside O’Bryant’s vehicle and shot him several times near the intersection of Lincoln and 14th streets in North Chicago. O’Bryant was hit in the head. He was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center, Libertyville, where he was pronounced dead.

Two other victims were in the car with O’Bryant when he was shot. A bullet was lodged in the left forearm of one victim. The other victim was treated on scene for minor injuries, according to authorities.

Less than a week before the North Chicago shooting, Smith’s brother-in-law had been shot at a Waukegan gas station. Video surveillance captured Smith racking a gun. Waukegan police located a .380-caliber live round where Smith was seen with the gun.

North Chicago police recovered .380- and .45-caliber bullet casings from the scene of the crime.

Smith’s mother’s boyfriend told police Smith handed him a gun and told him to hide it. Police were directed to a residence where a .380-caliber handgun was wrapped in a pillow case and towel.

After the gun was analyzed, it was determined the casings found in North Chicago and the live round found in Waukegan came from the same weapon.

Smith was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm.

He turned himself in to police, but did not make a statement, according to authorities.

Smith is due to be transferred to Illinois Department of Corrections on Feb. 27, according to court records.

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