Guilty Pleas In Ahoskie Man's Murder

A former police officer charged with a murder in Ahoskie in 2007 has pled guilty to the crime.

Raymond Jedele of Kill Devil Hills was charged with the murder of Brad Smithwick of Ahoskie in October 2007. A court clerk says Jedele pled guilty to the murder in court in Hertford County on Tuesday. Janet Harrell, Smithwick's ex-wife, pled guilty to second degree murder.

Jedele was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Harrell was sentenced to 157 months to 198 months behind bars.

Police launched a massive search for Smithwick after he didn't show up for work and police found blood in the bed of his truck. His body was found five days after his disappearance in the woods near Edenton.

Jedele used to be a police officer in Kitty Hawk. He was charged with kidnapping before Smithwick's body was discovered.


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  • by Joe Location: Chesapeake on Dec 2, 2010 at 11:19 AM
    I am truly blessed to have known Brad. He was a good friend who always made me smile even though we didn't see each other that often. Every time I hunt I take him with me. You are all in my prayers.
  • by Connie on Nov 30, 2010 at 06:54 AM
    The fact is my son is not here for me to hear him say, "I love you mom." I can't see that smile I loved or watch him love on his children that were his life. We all have the chance to make good choices or bad. Our loss is because two people chose to make a horrible choice that will impact our family, Brad's children, Ray's family and Janet's family FOREVER! God forgives those who ask for it. Only He knows what is in our hearts and theirs. After sitting thru the hearing I believe there is a lot that Ray does not know. I live a nightmare every day. Only parents who have lost a child knows the pain and emptiness you feel. I love my other son so much, my husband and grandchildren, but there is always a void and a sadness especially during the holidays. My heart and prays go out to anyone who have lost a child.
  • by saddened Location: America on Nov 29, 2010 at 10:29 PM
    as you all make comments about assumptions that you have made.. ( with Connie as an exception) just remember that Ray and Janet have parents that are suffering too .. and but for the grace of God it could be one of us..... my Heart breaks for Brads Mom and his children .... lets all take note that Ray spent his life serving the community and in one singular horrific act has ruined the lives of many people including himself and commited the ultimate crime , a crime that he can never take back! there is more involved here then any of us know... God is the one they will stand before ultimately ...and BTW a plea is sometimes taken when one takes the better plea and turns on the other....
  • by Old Friend Location: Edenton on Nov 25, 2010 at 04:12 AM
    I have sympathy for ALL the children, and family on both sides. Ray's parents & Janet's parents didn't ask for this. However, here are the facts for Ray & Janet both took a plea, a admission of guilt (only taken when the cards are stacked against you). Both individuals made a pre-arranged selfish choice that will forever affect those listed above and many others. Will God forgive, yes but the decision they made will always impact Brad's precious family. Again I'm thankful to have met Brad, earlier in my life and had the privilege of spending some fun times together. Brad will always be remembered by me as a HERO fighting the good fight for his children just as he did for our country. Janet lost custody of the children for a reason, a matter of public record, which is a fact. Her involvement in this murder is also a fact, not a judgement! Brad's wife, children, parents, family & friends will never get visitation rights, thats also a fact! Janet will forever be remembered as a murderer!
  • by Windsor Girl Location: Windsor on Nov 24, 2010 at 11:31 PM
    To the friend of Janet Harrell you had better be warned that when this heartless human gains her freedom she could easily murder a friend if she could so easily kill or have killed the father of her children. Yes God forgives and teaches us to forgive, but my God also is a God of wrath. Becareful in your choice of friends. For Janet's family and her older daughter my heart aches because I have seen the 3 years of horror that the Smithwick family has suffered. No amount of time in a prison, living on my tax money will bring this wonderful, loving man back, but God will let her reap what she has sown. Again, be careful in dealing with a woman like Janet Denise Harrell. I pray she has to live with the memory of what she has done, and if she does seek forgiveness from God with a true heart, He will forgive. As a christian we also have to forgive, but nothing on this side of heaven will let us forget. We love and miss you Brad, you will forever be in our hearts!!
  • by Jeff Location: originally from Powellsville, NC on Nov 24, 2010 at 03:35 PM
    As Old Friend stated below, I too was blessed to have Brad as a really close friend during our younger years. He was always there to help me through some tough times I was going through. After we "grew up" & got older, we went our seperate ways, Brad to the Marine Corps, me to the Air Force. I was deployed to Kyrgyzstan at the time when I got the news from my parents about the cowardly crime those two scumbags jedele & harrell committed that took his life. Although jedele got off way too light in my eyes,(Should have gotten death penalty) statistics have shown that ex-cops dont last long in prison, but thats what COWARDS do is plea for their life once they are caught. As for harrel, she should have gotten, at the very least, life with no parole for her cowardly part. But unfortunately (and lucky for them) I'm not a judge. To Ms. Connie, Ben, and all of the Smithwick family, may God continue to watch over you. You will forever be in my thoughts & prayers. Bless you all.
  • by friend on Nov 24, 2010 at 02:48 PM
    dont forget his oldest child can read all that you write on here!! My heart goes out the the family for their loss but, none of us where there and i still love Janet because God forgives!!! we are not here to judge others!!!!
  • by Connie Location: Windsor on Nov 24, 2010 at 01:32 PM
    The decisons made were done with a lot of thought and prayer. Brad's father, his wife (Sindi) and I prayed about it and looked at what was best for the children. We have to protect the them! She got 13 yrs WITHOUT parole. They will be grown when she gets out and will be able to better protect themselves. Thank you for your prayers and concerns.
  • by Old Friend Location: Edenton on Nov 24, 2010 at 12:43 PM
    I was blessed to have known Brad. His childern and newly wed wife were robbed and no amount of punnishment will ever be sufficient. Janet Harrell should have recieved 1st degree for her part. The sad reality is she will be out in 1/2 the time sentanced and yet she was just as much at fault, if not more so. I know Brad is in heaven today but his void will forever impact his precious family. To the Smithwick family nothing said will ever change these results but just know that Brad is waiting in Heaven, he actually walks & talks to Jesus daily and you will see him again. To Brad's widow thank you for giving Brad a true loving marriage relationship experience and I'm sicerely sadden for your loss. Brad was a awesome father and if given the choice would have sacrificed his life for his children, to have a better life. Which is what did occur.
  • by budgirl Location: Aulander on Nov 24, 2010 at 12:18 PM
    the two of them are so cold hearted they don't care what they did to Brad,is childern and his entire family and his friends.He should have gotten the electric chair!! As for Janet,there is no words for her to take away her babies daddy like she did.I don't know what to say on that part.Mrs.Cnnie my heart & prayers go out to u ad your family.May u have your justice!!!!
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