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She apparently was right all along.

A pigtailed 4-year-old girl identified her mom's alleged killer 18 years ago, but he was never brought to justice for the heinous crime -- until now.

DeJohn Hoffman, then 29 -- already serving 25 years to life for an unrelated slaying -- was finally charged Thursday in the point-blank fatal shooting of 22-year-old Jessica Smith, his girlfriend and the child's mother.

"Daddy shot Mommy in the head," then-4-year-old Christina Smith -- the oldest of the victim's three kids -- blurted out to cops probing the April 6, 1993, disappearance of her mom.


TRAUMATIZED: Jessica Smith, with daughter Christina, was allegedly murdered by boyfriend DeJohn Hoffman in 1993 as the horrified 4-year-old girl looked on.
Hoffman was living with Jessica Smith and the children at the time in the Mount Eden section of The Bronx. Christina was not his biological child.

But prosecutors were troubled about using someone so young as their main witness in the case, and the Bronx District Attorney's Office declined to prosecute Hoffman.

Cold-case cops, however, refused to give up.

In 2006, detectives paid a visit to Hoffman at the Eastern Correctional Facility in Napanoch, NY, where the thug has been locked up for his later conviction in 1993 in the fatal shooting of an innocent bystander during a botched robbery at a Brooklyn bodega two years earlier.

Investigators grilled Hoffman about some of his bloodstained clothing, which had been recovered after Smith's murder.

He claimed that it was his own blood on the clothes -- but a forensic analysis proved it was actually Smith's.

In 2008, investigators then questioned one of Hoffman's former associates in a federal pen. The associate admitted to the cops that he had helped in the removal and disposal of Smith's body, sources said. The body had been found in a Bronx vacant lot six days after the murder.

The snitch testified before a Bronx grand jury last month, sealing Hoffman's fate. He was indicted on two counts of murder Dec. 30.

Still, for Christina, there is no happy ending. She has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, her family said, and now lives in a New Jersey group home for the mentally challenged.

"It messed her up," her uncle, Andre Smith, 41, told The Post yesterday.

"I don't think she understood what happened -- that her mother was dead," said aunt Kim Smith-Tippens, 49. "After that, she just shut down."



Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/bronx/time_after_crime_EMM9SaMwj1XybE2lmO3XdI#ixzz1Bxxul5pL

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