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Auburn woman guilty of shooting man to death at bar sentenced to 25 years

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  • Staff Report 

Shameek Copes, a 28-year-old Auburn woman convicted of second-degree murder earlier this year, was sentenced to the maximum penalty of 25 years to life in prison by Cayuga Court Judge Thomas Leone on Monday.

Copes was found guilty of killing 37-year-old John Wesley Smith outside Swifty’s Tavern on Perrine Street in Auburn in March 2022.


Despite maintaining her innocence and expressing condolences to Smith’s family, Copes received the maximum sentence sought by the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office. Her attorney, Rome Canzano, revealed plans to appeal the conviction after the sentencing.

In addition to the second-degree murder charge, Copes was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Judge Leone also sentenced her to 15 years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision for the weapon charge, with the sentences running concurrently.