Victor Lizardi


A man convicted of shooting another man while he was sleeping was sentenced Monday to life in prison with the possibility of release after 25 years.

Victor "Lucky Charms" Lizardi, 22, was found guilty of first-degree murder in February in the August 2011 fatal shooting of 43-year-old Michael Smith at an apartment in the 3100 block of East Blacklidge Drive.

Smith's girlfriend, Donna Carter, testified that she and Smith had just returned from a stay at a local casino, and their roommates and Lizardi, who was the boyfriend of one of them, were at the home.

Carter said she introduced Lizardi and Smith and was confused when Lizardi told Smith it was "all water under the bridge," according to Star archives. Carter didn't ask anything more about the exchange.

She later caught Lizardi showing a gun to another roommate's boyfriend and told Lizardi to leave.

The other man walked Lizardi to the door; Carter went into another room and then heard a gunshot.

Carter ran into Lizardi coming out of the bathroom adjoining her bedroom, where Smith was sleeping.

When she went into the bedroom, Smith was struggling to breathe and his mouth was full of blood. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Lizardi was sentenced by Pima County Superior Court Judge Teresa Godoy.

Lizardi's trial on another first-degree-murder charge starts today. He is also accused of shooting and killing 24-year-old Francisco Pereida two days after the incident involving Smith. Pereida was found with gunshot wounds near West Mabel Street and North 14th Avenue and was taken to a hospital, where he died the next day.

Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at or at 573-4224.