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Man Hosted 'Joyful Gender Reveal' Party for Girlfriend Pregnant with Twins. The Next Month, He Killed Her

Maurice Kelso Smith was convicted Monday of the capital murder of Darionne Burley, who was pregnant with their twin boys when he shot her in June 2020

<p>Mansfield Police Department; Darionne Burley/ Facebook</p> Maurice Kelso Smith (L) and Darionne Burley (R)

Mansfield Police Department; Darionne Burley/ Facebook

Maurice Kelso Smith (L) and Darionne Burley (R)

In May 2020, Maurice Kelso Smith threw what prosecutors later called a “joyful gender reveal party” for his girlfriend, who was pregnant with their twin boys.

The next month, on June 29, 2020, Smith illegally purchased a gun, and within an hour of the couple leaving a Waffle House in Fort Worth, Texas, he shot Darionne Burley in the back of the head.

Burley and their unborn baby boys died immediately.

On Monday, a jury convicted Smith, 32, of Burley’s capital murder, Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney Phil Sorrells said in a press release detailing the case.

After shooting Burley, Smith drove to Mansfield, Texas — with his deceased girlfriend in the car — and robbed another woman of her car at gunpoint, per prosecutors.

<p>Darionne Burley/ Facebook</p> Darionne Burley

Darionne Burley/ Facebook

Darionne Burley

Leaving “Burley in a bloody crime scene” for law enforcement to find, prosecutors said that Smith switched cars and eventually drove home.

Detectives found Smith at his address “trying to clean the stolen car and destroy evidence of the murder,” per prosecutors.

By then, prosecutors say, police had determined that Smith had attempted yet another robbery shortly after the murder.

Tarrant County Sheriff's Office Maurice Kelso Smith mugshot
Tarrant County Sheriff's Office Maurice Kelso Smith mugshot

Over the course of the investigation, prosecutors say police recovered Smith’s clothes “covered in blood,” along with the gun he used in the shooting, which investigators matched to the shell casing in the car where they found Burley.

Following his arrest, per prosecutors, Smith allegedly began "faking his intoxication and memory lapse,” and spent several hours in the hospital for a purported overdose prosecutors say was non-existent.

At the hospital, Smith tried picking the handcuff lock that chained him to the hospital bed, according to prosecutors.

<p>Darionne Burley/ Facebook</p> Darionne Burley's ultrascan, depicting her twin boys.

Darionne Burley/ Facebook

Darionne Burley's ultrascan, depicting her twin boys.

“In June 2020, Darionne’s friends and family were concerned for her safety,” Assistant District Attorney Kate Hinojosa said at trial. “And it turns out their concerns were valid because at the end of the month, she would be dead at the hands of this Defendant.”

Prosecutors say that Smith declined sharply after the couple’s gender reveal party that May.

In early June prosecutors say that Smith – who was “using drugs heavily” – assaulted his pregnant girlfriend.

<p>Darionne Burley/ Facebook</p> Darionne Burley

Darionne Burley/ Facebook

Darionne Burley

Later that month, Smith illegally bought a gun.

The next day, he fatally shot the mother of his unborn twin boys.

On Monday Smith received an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, per prosecutors.

Recalling the life they imagine for Burley and her sons, the woman’s family addressed Smith after the verdict, per the press release, telling him: “There are no winners here.”

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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