Man Who Served Time For 1988 Beating Death, 1991 ‘Hired Hit’ Rearrested

A Johnston County man convicted in 1988 for brutally killing his girlfriend and again in 1992 for shooting a Brogden resident during a “hired hit” was arrested this week during a drug investigation in Clayton.

Narcotics agents with Johnston County Sheriff’s Office took 61 year-old Louis Smith into custody Tuesday afternoon after conducting a search warrant at his home on Jack Road.  Agents said undercover officers had purchased cocaine from Smith on Monday and during the search warrant on Tuesday found more cocaine inside his home. He was also charged by Clayton Police on Wednesday as one of 27 suspects in Operation Hailstorm.

Smith has a deadly criminal history in Johnston County.

1988 Murder Of Girlfriend
On February 2, 1988, the body of Wilhimena Raeford Womack, 47,  of Hancock Street, Smithfield was found dumped on a dead end road behind A.G.’s Truckstop off Brogden Road next to I-95.  Womack had been beaten to death. Sheriff Freddy Narron said at the time Womack had been missing for 3 days before her body was discovered.  Her boyfriend, Louis Smith, of the Stanley Mobile Home Park on Highway 210, was arrested after blood and a human tooth was found at his mobile home.

Womack was survived by two daughters, her mother, and three grandchildren.

Smith was charged with murder but was allowed to plead guilty in August 1988 to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced by Judge Samuel Currin to 5 years in prison with recommendation for work release.  Court records show Smith served 18 months of the 5 year sentence before being released in February 1990.

1991 Hired Hit
Less than a year after his release, on January 23, 1991, Smith was hired as a “hit man” for $3,000 to shoot Doug Richardson at his home on Creech’s Mill Road in the Brogden community east of Smithfield. Smith lured the victim to the door pretending to be looking for a person who had hunting dogs for sale.

Richardson was hit multiple times including wounds to the head, chest and leg but survived.  Richardson pleaded with Smith not to shoot him but Smith testified, “That’s when I shot him again. Then he hit the floor and I went over and held the gun over his head and shot him again.”

During trial, a co-defendant, Wayne Sanders of Clayton, testified Smith told him he wondered why Richardson had not died.  An SBI weapons expert testified during the 1992 trial the gun was “off-aim” which probably saved Richardson’s life.

Smith and Sanders admitted during the trial they had been involved in illegal drug dealing.

Smith, whose nickname was “Big Luke”, was convicted in 1992 of conspiracy to commit murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.  Smith was sentenced to 30 years in prison but was released just 10 years later in 2002.

Following his arrest this week on 11 felony drug charges, Smith found himself back in the Johnston County Jail under a $180,000 bond.

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  • Sandy Griffin

    sounds to me he’s a habitual felon and does not need to be free on the streets to continue killing and selling drugs

  • Teresa Walker

    I agree Sandy Griffin. People like that needs to be locked up and never let out!!

  • JoCo Viewer

    I wonder what kind of families those victims have for this guy to be still alive. 8 months for murdering a woman?? 10 years for a contract hit?? And now they’re pestering him about a little dab of cocaine. Wonder what the sentence for that will be? 3 days? 10 hours?

  • mmeh

    18 months for killing someone. Anybody see anything wrong with that picture?? Who are these prosecutors and how do they sleep at night?

    • Britt

      It’s not the prosecutors, it’s the judge that sentenced a man who brutally murdered someone to five years in prison!

      • mmeh

        Prosecutor came up with the plea deal.

  • Watcher

    Had he received the death penalty for brutally beating Ms. Womack, the later crimes would never had occurred. When is society going to learn? Why do evil people get so many chances?

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  • Sandy Griffin

    sounds to me he’s a habitual felon and does not need to be free on the streets to continue killing and selling drugs

  • Teresa Walker

    I agree Sandy Griffin. People like that needs to be locked up and never let out!!

  • JoCo Viewer

    I wonder what kind of families those victims have for this guy to be still alive. 8 months for murdering a woman?? 10 years for a contract hit?? And now they’re pestering him about a little dab of cocaine. Wonder what the sentence for that will be? 3 days? 10 hours?

  • mmeh

    18 months for killing someone. Anybody see anything wrong with that picture?? Who are these prosecutors and how do they sleep at night?

    • Britt

      It’s not the prosecutors, it’s the judge that sentenced a man who brutally murdered someone to five years in prison!

      • mmeh

        Prosecutor came up with the plea deal.

  • Watcher

    Had he received the death penalty for brutally beating Ms. Womack, the later crimes would never had occurred. When is society going to learn? Why do evil people get so many chances?