SC man sentenced for 2018 beating death of woman, confesses in 911 call

South Carolina News

William Smith (SCSO)

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – An Inman man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 2018 beating death of a woman in Spartanburg County.

We previously reported William Tommie Smith, 66, admitted to beating 55-year-old Brenda Kay Tanner to death with a baseball bat that she’d kept in her bedroom for protection on Dec. 2, 2018. The incident happened at Smith’s home on Waters Rd.

Tanner died of 9-10 blows to the head, according to the solicitor’s office.

Smith called 911 to report the crime, according to the solicitor’s office. He admitted to smoking crack cocaine during the 911 telephone call and he told the operator he would turn himself in.

You can hear his 911 call below. WARNING: Some may find this call disturbing.

Smith turned himself into the Spartanburg County jail that same day. He was charged with murder.

When deputies visited Smith’s house, they found Tanner in a bedroom with electrical cord wrapped around her neck 3 times and tied in several knots, the solicitor’s office said.

“Brenda Kay Turner’s death was a senseless tragedy,” Solicitor Barry Barnette said. “I hope her family and friends can rest easier knowing that William Tommie Smith will spend the balance of his life in prison.”

A 7NEWS report in 2019 showed that Smith had a lengthy criminal record. He had been given parole and pardoned before committing murder. That full report can be read here.

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