Vero Beach man gets 20 years for burying mom - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Vero Beach man gets 20 years for burying mom

Posted by Rachel Leigh email

VERO BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A man who buried his mother in their backyard to cover up her death now is serving 20 years in state prison for second degree murder.

In mid 2008 Vero Lake Estates resident Kelly Smith, 38, argued with his mother, Lynn Schuler, 59, over his unemployment.

He shoved. She fell, causing injuries she died of several hours later on the living room floor in the home 7900 block of 96th Court.

The next night he buried her six feet deep in the ground under the cover of darkness - without alerting anyone.

When officers arrested him four days later, he said he went off to party for two days but eventually planned to turn himself him.

On Feb. 27 Circuit Judge Robert Hawley sentenced Smith to 20 years in state prison followed by 18 months probation. Hawley took into consideration Smith's criminal record including charges of cocaine possession, battery, grand theft and driving with a suspended license.

Schuler was a widow who helped take care of landscaping around the Disney's Orchid Island resort. Her husband died of an illness four years ago prior to her death.

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