Ryles to serve life in jail

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 1, 2014

One of four men charged in a 2011 double murder was sentenced this week to serve two life sentences.

Brandon Jamal Ryles was convicted in mid-Septemer in the deaths of Mark Adams, 53, and Carla Smilie, 22, both of Troy.

Ryles was charged along with Marquise McClaney, Troy McClaney and John Foster. The McLaneys both pleaded guilty to two counts of felony murder. Foster had recently entered a plea deal for two counts of felony murder, but following his refusal to testify in Ryles’ case his plea was revoked.

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District Attorney Tom Anderson said he was pleased with Ryles’ sentencing this week. “That is what we intended to ask for, and that’s what Judge Clark rendered (Thursday) in court,” Anderson said. “The family representatives are happy with the outcome … I think it sends the message that’s one of the most atrocious and heinous crimes that I’ve ever seen,” Anderson said. “I don’t see any punishment that any would have been meritorious enough under those circumstances.”

Anderson said he also hoped the sentence will serve as a warning to others. “This also acts as a clear and real deterrent for the people out of the streets that may not value the sanctity of life that our neighbors and we do,” he said.

Ryles will face two life sentences, and Anderson said a condition of his sentencing was that family representatives would be notified if Ryles became eligible for parole or attempted be let out on parole at any point while serving time.

“They notify us as well. We have a routine practice in very serious cases of writing letters, and we will go and attend those hearings ourselves,” Anderson said. “I told the victim’s representatives that I would be glad to ride or drive with them to the parole hearings myself once I’m retired.”

Shortly following Ryles’ sentencing, Clark also officially withdrew Foster’s guilty plea for two counts of felony murder. Foster had reached a plea deal by agreeing to testify in all remaining matters of the case, but Foster refused in September to testify in Ryles’ case. According to Anderson, Foster’s court date has yet to be set, but it could be within the year.