Mya Patel was five years old and was playing in the apartment above the Super 8 motel her parents ran in Monkhouse Drive, Shreveport, in March 2021. On that fateful day, one Joseph Lee Smith was targeting a man he had a fight within the parking lot with his gun, when the bullet missed the target and hit the head of Mya, and grazed through her mother.
Mya battled for life for three days and was finally pronounced dead. Her parents Vimal Patel and Snehal Patel were living with her and her sibling in the motel they ran. The bullet was discharged from a 9mm handgun that Smith used to attack the other man.
Now, one year later, Smith will return to court on February 27 and he will face a prison term of up to 40 years at hard labor for a manslaughter conviction. He will also be facing 10 years in prison and/ or a fine of $5,000 and up to 40 years in prison and/ or $100,000 for the obstruction conviction.