‘The Redemption Project’: Father Of Slain Teen Seeks Closure In One Of Oakland’s Biggest Murders

In an emotional episode of The Redemption Project, Van Jones revisited the case of LoEshe Lacy who was murdered in an ambush back in 1997.

This Sunday, CNN takes us inside the meeting LoEshe’s father, Donald Lacy, had with the man who shot her to death in a van over 20 years ago in Oakland, Calif. Of all her friends in the van, she was only one who died. She was killed by a childhood friend named Chris Smith who was in a gang retaliating, not realizing who was actually in the vehicle he and three others shot bullets into. Of all the shooters, Smith was the only suspect convicted and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

So what happens when a killer comes face-to-face with his victim’s loved ones? For Smith and Lacy, it started cold but remained peaceful. Emotional, to say the least. Lacy wanted to know what beef caused the gang to fire dozens of bullets into a car without consideration for bystanders and Smith wanted to apologize. 

The last time the two had seen each other was in court back in the 90s when Lacy said Smith wouldn’t look him in the eyes. In 2018 it happened. They were able to look each other in the eyes in a room where they sat across from each other, prepared to open up about both sides of one of Oakland’s biggest murders.

Watch a preview of the episode up top and catch it when it airs on CNN this Sunday, May 12 at 9 p.m. 

Read more about Smith’s life after prison here.


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