Murder victim Smith remembered for her love of children

Murder victim Smith remembered for her love of children

PAWTUCKET – Cheryl Smith, a city woman murdered at her home on New Year’s Day, is being remembered for her love of being a mom and her work with hundreds of local children in the Heritage Park YMCA’s childcare center.

Two people charged in her shooting death, Jack Doherty and Shaylyn Moran, were held without bail last week after being arraigned on charges related to her murder, and are due back in court Thursday, Jan. 16.

According to Smith’s obituary from the Tripp Funeral Home, she had been a teacher’s assistant at the YMCA in Pawtucket for the last four years, and was also a licensed real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty in Boston.

“Cheryl enjoyed music, traveling the world with her brother and most of all, she loved being a mother to her boys,” states the obituary.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend visitation this Thursday, Jan. 9, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Tripp Funeral Home, 1008 Newport Ave., Pawtucket. Funeral and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Heritage Park YMCA, 333 Roosevelt Ave., Pawtucket, RI 02860.

YMCA CEO Charlie Clifford said in a letter to families that Smith was “a beloved member of the community and our childcare team and reached hundreds of children during her tenure with us.”

Doherty and Moran were charged last Thursday with first-degree murder and conspiracy in connection to the New Year’s Day killing of the 54-year-old Smith, who was the mother of Moran’s ex-boyfriend.

Police had not announced a motive as of press time this week.

“Today, Pawtucket police apprehended two suspects believed to be involved in yesterday’s fatal shooting on Baxter Street,” said Chief of Police Tina Goncalves in a statement. “While this was a targeted and isolated incident, there is no place for violence in our community.”

The suspects did not enter pleas during their arraignment in Providence District Court.

The couple had allegedly created posts with violent themes before and after the shooting, including a photo of them in bed with the caption, “we some fighters and some shooters.”

Reports last week were that the gun used in the shooting might have been a 3D printed gun seen in photos posted by Doherty on Facebook, but some doubt was cast on that theory in a report by Motif Magazine. Detective Sgt. Christopher Lefort said Monday that the gun was sent out for forensic testing and police were hoping to get the results back soon.

Police responded to reports of shots fired at 100 Baxter St. at around 8:15 p.m. on Jan. 1. They found Smith with multiple gunshot wounds to her chest. A black male in dark clothing was seen fleeing the scene. Smith was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

Detectives began to further investigate and learned that the suspect, later identified as Doherty, might be staying at the Hampton Inn on George Street. They went there and took two suspects, Doherty, 23, of Albany, N.Y., and Moran, 18, of 110 Lawn Ave. in Pawtucket, into custody. The two were recently engaged. Doherty was found to be in possession of a 9mm handgun, according to police. He was also charged with assaulting Det. Justin Gould, one of seven charges against him.

“On behalf of the administration, I would like to thank the brave men and women of our Police Department for their hard work and dedication in the aftermath of this incident,” said Goncalves in her statement. “Please be assured that our public safety officials are making sure our community and the neighborhoods remain safe.”

According to The Boston Globe, Moran and Smith’s son, Leonard Troufield, had been in a troubled relationship. Troufield was arrested on domestic violence charges two months ago and issued a no-contact order. The son was home at the time of last week’s shooting but not injured.

Jack Doherty & Shaylyn Moran