Smelley brothers sentenced in murder of 2-year-old Detroit girl

Posted at 1:38 PM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 14:54:08-04

Two brother's convicted in the shooting death of a toddler will spend decades behind bars.

Antoine and Cleveland Smelley faced a judge for the May 2016 shooting that started over spilled juice.

Two brothers were charged with second degree murder in the death of 2-year-old Makanzee Oldham, who was sitting in a car seat.

RELATED: Smelley brothers sentenced in murder of 2-year-old Makanzee Oldham

Cleveland Smelley will spend 30-60 years in prison for second degree murder, and another five years for felony firearm.


His brother Antoine Smelley, sentenced to 8 to 20 years for second degree murder, and another two for felony firearm.

The child's mother broke down and she spoke in court.

"I hope everyday he wakes up he sees the image of him hurting my daughter," the child's mother said.

Police say Cleveland fired the gun that hit the toddler in the head, the innocent victim of a petty argument.

It happened in May 2016, on Detroit's east side, outside a home on Fairmount drive, near 8 Mile.

Investigators say a fight over spilled kool-aid, escalated. He fired shots at a car, with seven people inside.
The bullet was meant for the baby's father, but hit her in the head.

"I hope he lives in pain."

The toddler died after several days in the hospital, she was just a few weeks shy of her third birthday.

"I'm standing here today accepting this... I want to apologize for killing your daughter. I never meant to do it," said Cleveland Smelley

After the shooting, police say Smelley was found hiding in an Oak Park Motel for hours before he was turned in.