December 3, 2021

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Just Do Travel

2 years after Staten Island travel agent, 38, was shot dead in her home, her husband admits guilt

3 min read

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A Mariners Harbor man who two years ago fatally shot his wife inside their home during an argument has pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter.

Kevin Smith, 43, was charged with murder, assault and other crimes stemming from the Oct. 23, 2019 killing of Nikia Webster, 38.

Smith admitted guilt on Wednesday during a proceeding in state Supreme Court, St. George.

In exchange, he’ll be sentenced on Dec. 14 to 22 years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision.

In a statement, District Attorney Michael E. McMahon said the plea holds Smith accountable “for the cold and despicable act of violence he committed against his wife.”

“My office will continue to work tirelessly to ensure victims of domestic violence receive the justice they deserve, and our Domestic Violence Bureau remains committed to supporting victims and holding their abusers accountable,” said the D.A.

McMahon thanked Assistant District Attorneys Victoria Levin and Timothy Richard for “successfully prosecuting this case and delivering justice for the victims in this tragic case.”

Defense counsel Eugene Lamb could not immediately be reached for comment.

At a court conference in February 2020, Lamb said he was having Smith evaluated by a psychiatrist to determine the viability of an insanity defense.

However, the defendant never submitted a notice of his intention to present that defense at trial.

Such notice to the court is required to pursue an insanity defense.

According to court papers, the deadly events unfolded at around 11:40 p.m.

Smith and the victim had returned home from Manhattan and began arguing outside their home on the 100 block of South Avenue.

Smith punched Webster “numerous times” about the face and body, said prosecutors’ Voluntary Disclosure Form, which is included among their court filings.

The beating was captured on surveillance videotape, allege prosecutors.

The couple then entered the residence and went upstairs.

Smith took a .40-caliber handgun from a bedroom-drawer gun box and shot at the victim numerous times, hitting her once in the head, allege court papers.

The victim’s two sons, reportedly 15 and 16 years old, were in their respective rooms at the time.

One boy ultimately called 911.

After shooting his wife, Smith was seen on videotape leaving the home at 11:43 p.m., with what appeared to be a gun in his hand, court documents said.

He then tucked the firearm into his waistband before entering his Jeep Cherokee, said prosecutors’ court filings.

Smith drove to Brooklyn, then to his mother upstate before returning to Brooklyn, said the Disclosure Form.

He was apprehended in Brooklyn as a suspect on Oct. 24 and arrested the next day, court documents said.

Smith had four guns registered at his home, said court papers.

On searching the residence, cops found three of those guns, but the fourth, a .40-caliber handgun, was missing, court documents said.

Police found one additional gun — an unregistered and defaced .357-caliber Smith & Wesson, said court papers.

Smith, who had 19,000 followers on Instagram, listed himself on social media as a Polo Ralph Lauren influencer, musician, app developer, PC tech, engineer, former physical therapist and Con Edison employee.

Webster worked as a part-time travel agent.

In the months before her death, she was busy promoting her travel agency on Facebook Live, displaying what appeared to be a cheerful disposition.

In one post broadcast from a family gathering at a park, she said she hoped her viewers were “hanging around with the people that you love and cherish because life is definitely short, and you have to live every day to the fullest.”

In another post, she introduced herself to potential clients as a wife, full-time mother of two boys and part-time travel agent.