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Kenosha County Eye

Kenosha Woman’s Murder Could Have Been Prevented By Judges And DA’s Office: Opinion

Roderick L. Smith, 39, of Kenosha

39-year old Gia Martin was found murdered last week in Kenosha after being missing for several weeks.

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Roderick L. Smith is expected to be charged on Wednesday with murder and several other charges including moving/hiding a corpse. If convicted, he will be sentenced to prison for the remainder of his life.

We believe this death was preventable. As you might have guessed, Mr. Smith is not a stranger to the criminal justice system. He is a multiple felon and has a long rap-sheet of violent arrests. In the last 5 years, he has been arrested and convicted of domestic abuse right here in Kenosha County 4 times. Why wasn’t this violent man in prison where he belongs? To answer simply, he wasn’t in prison because of sweetheart deals offered by DA Michael Graveley’s office and signed off by the Judges. Let’s look at the last five years of domestic abuse allegations:

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2016CM861 (Two Misdemeanor Counts Charged) On June 30, 2016, Mr. Smith slapped his girlfriend (not Gia) in the face and she told the police he had a history of violence with her.

Prosecutor ADA Jennifer Phan gave him a plea deal. He did no time and Judge Mary K. Wagner (D) fined him $500.

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2016CF1408 (Two Felony Counts Charged) On December 26, 2016, Mr. Smith Called his girlfriend a bitch, dumb-ass and fat-ass. He then threatened to break her hands if “she touched his xBox again”. He physically abused her face by grabbing it firmly with both hands.

Prosecutor ADA T. Clair Binger dismissed one felony with a plea deal. He plead guilty to one felony. Judge Schroeder gave him no time and ordered two years of probation. His probation was later revoked and he got 1 year in prison.

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2017CF460 (Three felonies and one misdemeanor charged) On April 30, 2017 Mr. Smith pushed his penis in is girlfriend’s face without consent. He then physically abused her by punching her breast. He threatened to bash her head in with brass knuckles.

Prosecutor Margie Drees dismissed two felonies and one misdemeanor and he plead guilty to one felony. Judge Mary K. Wagner (D) approved plea deal. Wagner gave him no time in prison.

2018CF122 (2 Felony Counts Charged) Smith was drunk and threatened to beat his girlfriend and murder her with one of his guns.

Prosecutor ADA Zach Brost dismissed both felonies with a plea deal. He plead guilty to one misdemeanor and Judge Schroeder gave him 90 days in jail.

Two years ago, Mr. Smith threatened to shoot his girlfriend with a gun and a couple of weeks ago, police say he did just that to another woman. These are ONLY the domestic abuse convictions. We reached out to Mike Graveley but he isn’t taking responsibility for Gia’s death. If the prosecutors and Judges wouldn’t have gone so easy on Mr. Smith, maybe Gia would be alive today with her children. When Judges and Prosecutors go easy on violent criminals, there are very very real consequences. People can and do die because of a weak criminal justice system. Unfortunately that may be the case here in Kenosha, WI.


  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.


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6 Responses

  1. The sad part is that it’s not like this guy was one person who fell through the cracks. No, there are lots of individuals in Kenosha with many DV arrests/charges and they basically all get plea bargained down to nothing here. This certainly won’t be the last time you see a situation like this.

    1. I’ll just use this post to say…..I told you so.

      Ranon Brownlee….case dismissed in 2020 by Kenosha County DA for domestic violence against same woman he killed.

  2. This is horrible. But you used the wrong kind of “week” in the sentence. This is the word you were looking for “weak”.

  3. Kit Stilwell is an escalating domestic abuser. And he’s about to get out with just probation. I witnessed Judge Schroeder’s warning that he’s had miscreants detained for lesser crimes than Stilwell’s. Please don’t let him out. He’s a monster.

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