Detroit Hit Man Pleads Guilty To Eight Murders Over Two Years


A Detroit hit man who specialized in drug-related murders has pleaded guilty to eight counts of second-degree murder and one gun charge.

Vincent Smothers made the plea deal in exchange for a minimum sentence of 50 years in prison. Smothers, 27, will receive credit for time served in prison since his arrest, but will still not be out of jail until his 80s at the earliest.

Two years ago, Smothers confessed to eight killings in the Detroit area during a lengthy interrogation session by police, saying “I don’t have a profession. I kill people for money.” All but one of his victims were drug dealers, he said. He was paid approximately $60,000 over two years, although he did one of the hits for only $50.

During his confession, Smothers told police of one slaying, in which he approached two men from Chicago who were in town to conduct a drug deal. Their car was parked on the side of the interstate, with the trunk open, and Smothers asked if the men needed any help.

“He said, ‘Naw, young fellow.’ … Once he turned where he couldn’t see me, I pulled the pistol out and shot him in the head,” Smothers said to police.

He then fired through the windshield and the passenger-side window, killing the other man. Smothers also told the investigators that he had changed weapons while still remaining on his cell phone with the man who had contracted the hit. For this job, he received $15,000.

Smothers’s single target who was not involved with drugs was Rose Cobb, the 47-year-old wife of a Detroit police officer. He claimed that David Cobb arranged the killing while he was having an affair; David Cobb was never charged in the crime, and hanged himself last September. Smothers shot Rose Cobb while she was sitting in her van outside a pharmacy, after breaking the window with a tire iron.

“My stomach was in knots,” he told the police. “I felt like she was innocent.”

He added that the Cobb killing was the one that caused him the most remorse, and caused him to rethink his line of work. Police apprehended him in an alley shortly after the crime.

Smothers made the plea deal in part to avoid eight separate trials for first-degree murder. He will be sentenced later this month, and will receive between 50 and 100 years for the murders, as well as two years for the gun charge, in prison.


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