Alabama woman, 32, faces life in jail for killing man who raped her and threatened to kill her family

32-year-old Brittany Smith says the rapist had threatened to kill all her loved ones if she opened her mouth


                            Alabama woman, 32, faces life in jail for killing man who raped her and threatened to kill her family
Brittany Smith (L) and Todd Smith (R) (Stevenson Police Department)

STEVENSON, ALABAMA: A woman may be staring at a life in prison for murder after she shot her alleged rapist as he tried to kill her brother.

The accused woman, 32-year-old Brittany Smith, revealed how Todd Smith, 38, brutally raped and beat her at her Stevenson, Alabama residence on January 2018, the New Yorker reports. According to Brittany, Todd threatened to kill her if she told anyone what happened. However, she told her brother Chris McCallie about the rape, who subsequently showed up at her residence and confronted the rapist. Chris and Todd engaged in a violent altercation when Todd refused to leave the apartment, prompting Brittany to shoot her alleged attacker before alerting the authorities. Two days later, Brittany was charged with Todd's murder despite a rape kit showing severe injuries and clearly indicating she had been raped.

In an interview with the New Yorker, Brittany recounted her horrifying ordeal as she prepared for a court hearing this month to argue a Stand Your Ground defense. Brittany, if convicted for murder, will join countless women who are behind bars for violent acts against men who allegedly sexually abused them. Her mother couldn't pay her bond and Brittany might face jail term from twenty years to life.

In January 2018, Brittany felt happier than she had in a long time, she told the New Yorker. The newly divorced mother-of-four had had a rough couple of years -- losing custody of her eldest three children in 2013 as she battled substance abuse. But she was hopeful of late as she had been awarded increased visitations and the prospect of her gaining full custody was looking good.

Furthermore, after years of low-paying jobs, she had finally secured a new job at a flooring company that offered to pay her more than she would need to cover her expenses.

"I felt uplifted," she told the New Yorker. "Like, everything is going right. I have a job now, I'm going to get my babies back, and I have a home." 

Brittany was on her way home from McDonald's with her brother Chris on January 16 when Todd called her and asked if they could pick him up from a park. He was an old acquaintance who bred pit bulls. The day before, Brittany had allegedly visited Todd's home in Jasper, Tennessee and took home a pup.

According to her, she was reluctant to comply with Todd's request considering she had previously rejected his advances. Her brother Chris also advised her against picking up Todd. "I just had a gut feeling that something was going to happen," he said.

However, Brittany eventually agreed to help Todd out after he claimed to be stranded in the heavy snow and said he had no one else to call. Later on, she learned his father had kicked him out of the house following a violent altercation. After picking up Todd, she even offered that he could sleep on her couch for the night. Chris subsequently dropped off Brittany and Todd at the former's residence. The duo would then proceed to give her new pup a bath and share their mutual struggles with drug addiction.

She recalled how she advised Todd to "get his priorities together" and follow her example as she'd managed to get clean herself.

But Todd did not like Brittany's advice. He responded by asking if she thought she was better than him, calling her a bitch and head-butting her immediately after. Fearing for her life, Brittany locked herself in the bedroom, only to have Todd break it down, throw her on the bed, and choke her until she passed out. She regained consciousness soon after but found she was naked in a puddle of her own urine while Todd raped her with his hands around her neck.

"We're friends," Brittany begged Todd, before he warned her: "Don't say a fucking word or I'll kill you."

She tried to fight Todd off in vain. He proceeded to choke her once again until she passed out.

Upon waking up, Brittany saw Todd was still raping her. Left with no choice, she decided to "let him finish what he was doing".

Todd finished and then warned Brittany he would kill everyone she cared about if she spilled the beans on what had transpired. When Todd said he wanted to get some cigarettes, Brittany summoned Chris to get the car so they could drive to a local gas station. Chris came over and drove them to the store, where Brittany approached the cashier alone and asked for a piece of paper. She then wrote a message for the cashier, who knew her from before, saying she had been raped by Todd and that he would be responsible if she was found dead the following morning. However, she begged the cashier not to alert authorities.

Once the trio reached Brittany's residence, she told Chris to go back and talk to the cashier. 

Chris couldn't believe what he heard from the cashier, and immediately drove back to his sister's house.

Meanwhile, Brittany had texted her mother, "Mom, Todd has tried to kill me literally." She went on: "Don't act like anything is wrong . . . He will kill me if he knows."

Chris arrived armed with .22 caliber revolver and asked Todd to leave. When Todd did not, Chris tried to wrestle him out. But Todd was high on a cocktail of Xanax, amphetamines, alcohol, and meth -- and was able to get Chris in a headlock shortly after. 

With Todd threatening to kill the brother and sister, Brittany picked up the gun and fired three rounds at Todd.

"Someone just got shot at 211 Sharon Drive. He tried to kill me," she told a 911 dispatcher after Todd collapsed. "Just have an ambulance come, please, because I don't want this man to die."

Officers arrived at the scene 30 minutes later. By then, Todd was dead.

Brittany later told investigators about the whole ordeal. A rape kit corroborated her story showing 33 injuries, including bruises and bite marks all over her body, along with evidence of strangulation. 

Initially, the siblings decided Chris would take responsibility for Todd's death as they believed a woman wouldn't get a fair trial in Jackson County. Speaking to the New Yorker, Chris claimed that if authorities knew Brittany had fired the fatal shots, they would have not taken a rape-kit examination until it was too late.

"I hate to say this, but, Jackson County, they're a little bit behind on the times," Chris said.  "[Women] get the short end of the stick."

According to the report, Jackson County has an alarmingly high rate of aggravated assault cases -- which was found to be more than double the state average between 2015 to 2017.

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