Kenner man gets 30 years in 2004 stabbing death of roommate _lowres

Kenneth Smith

A Kenner man already in prison for raping a 16-year-old boy in 2005 was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in prison for fatally stabbing his roommate in an altercation that occurred a year before the rape.

Kenneth Smith, 54, pleaded guilty to manslaughter before Judge Scott Schlegel, of 24th Judicial District Court, for the 2004 killing, in which he embedded a knife in the head of Robert Shannon after stabbing him 14 times.

Shannon ran to a neighbor’s house in the 2700 block of Richland Street, where he died in the carport with the knife still in his head.

Smith wasn’t booked for that crime until August 2005, when he already was in jail for an incident three months earlier in which he forced a boy at knifepoint into the bathroom of a Kenner apartment, put on women’s underwear and made the boy perform oral sex on him.

The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office, however, didn’t charge Smith for the killing until March 2013. Authorities at the time blamed the delay on Hurricane Katrina, which they said had scattered witnesses and made them hard to find.

Smith already was serving 25 years for forcible rape. The 30-year sentence he got Tuesday gives him credit for time served in connection with the manslaughter conviction, not the rape, but it runs concurrently with that sentence.

Smith was sentenced as a second-felony offender and will not be eligible for parole, probation or suspended sentence.

He will be returned to the Avoyelles Correctional Center, where he was serving time on the rape conviction.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.