A Rienzi man has been sentenced to 30 years for the murder of an off-duty state trooper.

Last week 46-year-old Troy Eaton of Rienzi was found guilty in the 2018 shooting death of Kenneth “Josh” Smith, a Walnut residence and Mississippi Highway Patrol F-29 trooper. A Tippah County judge on Friday sentenced Eaton to 30 years in jail with 10 years suspended for the second-degree murder of Smith and 20 years to serve concurrently for aggravated assault in the shooting of Ricky Vick of Michigan City.

The incident happened in late September 2018 in Hatchie Bottom in the extreme western portion of Alcorn County. According to court documents, it was during a confrontation that Eaton shot off-duty Smith and Vick. The shooting resulted in Smith’s death. Eaton admitted to the shooting but claimed self-defense. A gun and meth pipe with Eaton’s DNA on it was later recovered at the scene.

Staff Writer

Zack Steen was first hired in 1999 as a junior in high school to work in the Daily Corinthian design department. After several years away, he returned in 2014 as staff writer. He's married to the love of his life Brandy and they have 5 wonderful fur-kids.

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