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Man who killed former UA football player’s mom gets life in prison

Sheril Smith, slain woman, was mother of ex-Sunnyside players Michael and Xavier Smith

Pima County Superior Court Judge Clark Munger Monday sentenced Tyrone Little Cisco, 33, to life in prison for the shooting death of Sheril Smith.

A jury convicted Cisco in April of first-degree murder. He is not eligible for parole.

He fatally shot the mother of former University of Arizona running back Xavier Smith Jr. five times on April 6, 2007, then fled to Eloy.

The weapon was a 12-gauge shotgun, according to testimony.

Two months before the killing, Cisco took out a $1 million life insurance policy on Smith and a $500,000 policy on her 15-year-old daughter.

The night of the killing, he dropped off Smith’s daughter at a Marana park and told her he and her mother were going rabbit hunting for Easter and would return to pick her up.

Prosecutors said he intended to kill the teen, too, but she escaped harm by getting a ride from the park to a friend’s home.

Cisco left an order of protection Smith got against her estranged husband under her body, trying to make it appear she was killed by him, according to testimony.

Smith’s son Michael was the 2006 Tucson Citizen Student Athlete of the Year. He and his brother played football at Sunnyside High School.

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