Ex-Harvard Student Brittany Smith Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

Smith’s attorney, Osler, declined to comment on the sentence.

On May 18, 2009, just two weeks before Smith's graduation from Harvard, her boyfriend Copney and two accomplices shot and killed Cosby in the basement of Kirkland’s J entryway.

An aspiring songwriter from New York City who frequently visited Smith and stayed in her room, Copney was convicted of felony murder of the first degree at the conclusion of his trial in April. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

His accomplices Blayn Jiggetts and Jason F. Aquino pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter prior to the start of Copney’s trial in exchange for cooperating with the case against Copney. Aquino was sentenced to 18 to 20 years in prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set for Jiggetts.

A senior in Lowell House at the time, Smith watched Jiggetts load the gun in her room before the men brought Cosby to Kirkland House to arrange the drug rip. Smith gave Copney and his accomplices her Harvard ID to gain access to the Kirkland basement, where Cosby was shot. Cosby later died from a bullet wound to his abdomen.



Denise Cosby Reflects on Son's Death

Denise Cosby Reflects on Son's Death

Upon Copney’s return from Cosby's shooting, Smith hid the gun in her blockmate’s room in a bag under her bed. She then called a taxi to help with the men’s getaway to South Station, where the four boarded a bus to New York. Smith returned to Harvard the next day.

Smith entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the district attorney's office in July 2009, but prosecutors said she later lied to investigators and misled a grand jury, breaking the terms of the agreement. Smith's lawyer disputed that claim and tried to dismiss the case. Kottmeyer denied the defense's motion in June, which resulted in the two sides entering into negotiations for a plea agreement.

Chanequa N. Campbell, another former Harvard student, has also been implicated in the murder and was denied a diploma in 2009, but Smith is the only Harvard student charged for involvement in the murder. Campbell has maintained a non-prosecution agreement with the district attorney's office and has been cooperating in the investigations against the other defendants.

—Julie M. Zauzmer contributed to this article.

—Staff writer Xi Yu can be reached at


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