A man convicted of strangling a flight attendant to death in 1995 and stabbing her young son will face the rest of his life behind bars.
Waseem Daker was sentenced to life in prison, plus 47.5 years to be served consecutively, by Cobb County Judge Mary E. Staley on Monday. A jury found Daker guilty for the 1995 killing of flight attendant Karmen Smith on Friday.
Prosecutors say Daker killed Smith October 23rd, 1995 in her Cobb County home. Daker wasn't arrested until 2009 when DNA testing linked him to the crime.
The victim's son, Nick Smith, was 5 years old at the time his mother was killed. When he arrived home from school on that fateful day, he was allegedly stabbed several times by Daker. He was emotional when he took the stand to make a statement during the sentencing.
"My life was put on hold," said Smith, now 22 years old. After the sentencing, Smith said it was a good day for his family and thanked the district attorney's office for the work they did in the case.
"Nothing will ever bring back my mother, and I will always be branded with his rage on my chest, but maybe now I can start anew. No longer will someone other than me control my life and interrupt my thoughts. He's finally caught, and I'm finally free. I love you mom," said Smith.
Assistant Cobb County District Attorney Jesse Evans asked the judge for the maximum sentence.
"If there were six life sentences I'd ask for every single one of them," said Evans.
Daker, who defended himself during the murder trial, offered very little rebuttal to the prosecution's pleas for the highest penalty.
"I did not kill Karmen Smith. I did not stab Nick Smith. I hope that one day the truth comes out because this is not it," said Daker.
Judge Smith called Daker a coward for refusing to sign court documents after the sentencing. She also said that Smith had "remarkable and enduring strength" for testifying in both the trial and the sentencing phase.