Brevard County parents seeking justice for Army veteran killed in domestic dispute in Oklahoma

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Some Brevard County parents are heading to Oklahoma this week in the hopes of getting justice for the death of their daughter who was killed while serving in the Army.

Angel Conner, 28, who grew up in Cocoa, was shot to death in January of last year in Lawton, Oklahoma. The man suspected of killing her is set to go to trial this week.


Gail Conner and her husband Jethro named their youngest daughter Angel because she was born premature and there were fears she wouldn’t make it.

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But she did, and she grew up in Cocoa and graduated Cocoa High School in 2010 before joining the U.S. Army.

After a few years of service, she joined the Reserves and spent time back home, then reenlisted in the Army.

She was living in Oklahoma, outside Fort Sill, when in January of last year, police said Richard Smith, another soldier she was dating, shot her six times in a domestic dispute.

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“We live her death sentence every day,” her mother Gail Conner said. “Every day of our life we live her death sentence is the hardest thing to even get up in and make a day.”

Smith is charged with first-degree murder and is set to go to trial Wednesday.

Family and friends from Cocoa will be flying out there, praying they can forgive the man accused of murdering Conner, and hoping for justice for the young woman who is loved, honored and remembered.”

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“(He) took her away from us just like that,” Gail Conner said. “And I mean, I can’t even imagine living the rest of my life without my baby.”

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.