WATCH: Jaleel Smith-Riley breaks down in tears at sentencing

Sentenced to life without parole

CINCINNATI -- A Hamilton County judge denied a man's request to change his plea in a 3-year-old murder case in court Wednesday. He was sentenced to life without parole.

WATCH his reaction to the sentence:


Jaleel Smith-Riley, 23, shocked even his own attorneys when he requested to change his plea in the shooting and killing of a 22-year-old woman during an attempted robbery. He was back in court Wednesday to see if his request would be granted.

Judge Barry Kubicki denied the request but took the death penalty off the table. Smith-Riley sobbed at the hearing Wednesday, repeatedly apologized and said he "made a mistake" in 2013.

Smith-Riley initially admitted to killing Porshia Brooks and injuring her boyfriend in Norwood in 2013.

Brooks' mother attended the September hearing with Brooks' ashes in tow. She brought the ashes again on Wednesday when Smith-Riley maintained that he wanted to change his plea.

"If I have to live life without Porshia, he should have to live life without parole," Porshia's sister said in court Wednesday.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Smith-Riley shot Brooks and her boyfriend, Aron Martin, during a robbery on Nov. 16, 2013. Martin survived, but Brooks died three days later.

The couple was sitting in a parked car on Carthage Avenue in Norwood when Smith-Riley approached the car and ordered Martin out, according to police. After finding Martin had nothing of value to rob, Smith-Riley shot him in the head, then leaned into the vehicle and fatally shot Brooks, Deters said.

Kubicki took the death penalty off the table when he denied Smith-Riley's plea change.

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