Enterprise woman’s killer loses appeal battle

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WDHN) — The Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of an Enterprise man who killed his girlfriend, according to an announcement from Attorney General Steve Marshall.

It all began on Jan. 21, 2017, when a gunshot was heard by nearby witnesses from the parking lot of the apartment complex where Ayanna Nneka Smith lived. After that moment, Smith was never heard from again.

“My daughter was the sweetest person you could ever meet,” Johnny Smith said in 2018. “She loved both of her kids. She worked two jobs, and she had just got a degree.”

Before her disappearance, Smith was last seen with her boyfriend at the time — Malcom Hunter, 31, of Enterprise.

Malcom Hunter

One witness, a man named Alec Musso, told the court that Hunter came to his house the day of Smith’s disappearance “with what appeared to be the lifeless body of a woman in his car.”

Another witness, Frank Miller, said Hunter also came to his house on the same day to ask for help with getting rid of a handgun.

The investigation also found blood in the car, which was confirmed to be Smith’s through a DNA match with her parents. A look into the couple’s phone records found that the two got into an argument before Smith went missing.

One fact that stood out in this case is that to this day, Smith’s body has never been found.

In May 2018, Hunter was convicted in the Coffee County Circuit Court and was sentenced to life without parole “as a habitual offender.”

Hunter’s attorney at the time, Josh Pipkin, motioned for a mistrial afterward, stating that new evidence was found that could prove his client’s innocence.

However, the Court of Criminal Appeals decided last Friday that there was enough circumstantial evidence “to support the jury’s verdict that Hunter murdered Smith.”

Hunter will now remain in jail for the rest of his life.

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