SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A man who was out on parole in Minnesota for attempted murder, fleeing from police and sexual assault, crossed state lines, had a stolen gun, and shot three people in Sioux Falls in June of 2019, killing one. Now Ramon Smith is going to prison for the rest of his life.
42-year-old Larry Carr Junior was a devoted husband, father of four and grandfather of four.
He made the mistake of going out into his apartment complex parking lot to see what was going on when he was shot and killed by Ramon Smith.
Smith consistently claimed self-defense and said that he was protecting his sister and her girlfriend from an “angry mob.”
However, the jury didn’t buy it and found him guilty of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and aggravated assault.
Carr’s wife, Tenessa, and their 15-year-old son James were in court Thursday for Smith’s sentencing, where both said they forgive Smith for his deadly actions.
“I’m at the point in my life where I’m able to forgive him because I have to be freed. You can’t go around carrying that anger and that pain, because like the judge said, then you’ve got a life sentence of misery,” Widow Tenessa Carr said.
“It’s affected me a lot, but I’m not going to hold anger towards somebody, then they just have a hold over you. I’m not going to live my life with anger or hate. I live through my father and his experiences and how he shaped me to be, so even though he was gone too soon, I still have that with me,” 15-year-old son, James Carr said.
Smith spoke for several minutes during his sentencing hearing where he defended what he did, saying he was under attack.
Ramon Smith during his sentencing hearing in the killing of Larry Carr
“The threat was very real. it wasn’t a figment of my imagination… I asked my mom if the Father will forgive me for killing that man.”
Smith admitted that Carr was an innocent bystander who had nothing to do with the argument.
“My husband was a hard worker, he loved his family. He loved this community. He loved everything about his life at that time and wasn’t ready to end life. And so he got the justice he deserved,” Tenessa Carr said.
Judge Zell sentenced Smith to life without parole, as required by law for second-degree murder convictions, along with 75 additional years on the aggravated assault charges for injuring two others with gunshots.
Thursday at 10, KELOLAND News has an exclusive interview with Carr’s widow, who describes how the whole thing unfolded, and how she also feels like she lost a daughter in the ordeal. Plus, we investigate why Smith, a violent offender, was out on parole in Minnesota in the first place.