UPDATE: Jury Finds Husband Guilty in Wife's Murder

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 11/13/13 @ 12:45 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A jury in Cabell County has found a husband guilty of killing his wife.

Around 12:40 p.m. Wednesday, the jury found Harry Smith guilty on thelesser charge of 2nd degree murder.

Smith, 69, was on trial for the shooting death of his wife, Constance "Kay" Smith, at their home near East Pea Ridge in Barboursville in July 2011. Mrs. Smith was 62 years old.

The jury deliberated for nearly three hours on Tuesday and another three hours on Wednesday before reaching the verdict.

He will be sentenced on December 19. Smith was on trial for 1st degree murder.

Smith, had been on home confinement, was immediately taken into custody.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 11/13/13 @ 9:50 a.m.
CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The jury in the case of a man charged with shooting and killing his wife resumed deliberations Wednesday morning.

Harry Smith, 69, is accused of killing his wife Constance "Kay" Smith at their home near East Pea Ridge in Barboursville in July 2011. Mrs. Smith was 62 years old.

The jury got the case around 4:20 Tuesday afternoon.

The jury was given a recording of the 911 call and a transcript of Smith's interview after the shooting.

We have a crew in the courtroom.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 11/12/13 @ 7:40 p.m.
CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The jury in a murder case involving a man and his late wife will resume deliberations Wednesday morning.

The jury asked to be excused Tuesday evening.

Harry Smith, 69, is accused of killing his wife Constance "Kay" Smith at their home near East Pea Ridge in Barboursville in July 2011. Mrs. Smith was 62 years old.

The jury received the case just after 4:15 p.m Tuesday, after the prosecution and defense wrapped up closing arguments.

Deliberations will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 11/12/13 @ 4:20 p.m.
CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The jury is now deliberating in a murder case in Cabell County.

Harry Smith, 69, is accused of killing his wife Constance "Kay" Smith at their home near East Pea Ridge in Barboursville in July 2011. Mrs. Smith was 62 years old.

The jury received the case just after 4:15 p.m Tuesday, after the prosecution and defense wrapped up closing arguments.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 11/12/13 @ 2:10 p.m.CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Closing arguments have started in a murder trial in Cabell County.

Harry Smith, 69, is accused of killing his wife Constance "Kay" Smith at their home near East Pea Ridge in Barboursville in July 2011. Mrs. Smith was 62 years old.

Testimony ended on Friday afternoon.

The courthouse was closed Monday for Veterans Day, so the trial resumed Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, Judge Alfred Ferguson read instructions to the jury.

Just before 2 p.m. closing arguments began in the case. They are expected to last about one hour each.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 11/8/13 @ 2:15 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man on trial for killing his wife took the stand in his own defense Friday afternoon.

Harry Smith, 69, is accused of killing his wife Constance "Kay" Smith at their home near East Pea Ridge in Barboursville in July 2011. Mrs. Smith was 62 years old.

In testimony, Smith claims the shooting was an accident and that he and his wife had a "good and loving relationship."

Smith told the jury he had bought a replacement wedding band for the one his son had stolen. The couple was planning to renew their wedding vows at Myrtle Beach.

The night of the shooting Smith testified he picked up the gun thinking it was unloaded.

He said he doesn't remember cocking the gun as he handled the gun it went off which scared him, "Terrified and then plain scared and numb and shocked because I didn't know she was hit at first and then when I realized she was I panicked."

Smith's testimony is expected to continue after a short recess.

His trial began Monday, Nov. 4.

The defense has one more witness set to testify Tuesday. Court will be in recess Monday during the Veterans Day holiday.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 11/6/13 @ 10 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A trial continues Wednesday in Huntington for a man accused of killing his wife.

Harry Smith, 69, is accused of killing his wife Constance "Kay" Smith at their home near East Pea Ridge in Barboursville in July 2011.

Mrs. Smith was 62 years old.

Harry Smith has maintained that the shooting was an accident, since he was arrested.

Emotional family members filled the first two rows in the Cabell County courtroom as the trial resumed Wednesday.

Jury selection in the trial began Tuesday.

Before the trial got underway Wednesday, Judge Alfred E. Ferguson addressed the family members. He warned them not to have contact with the defendant or the jury.

Judge Ferguson said he had heard of an incident earlier in the week where a family member said something to the defendant.

Preston Stephens with the Cabell County Sheriff's Office was the first witness called to the stand Wednesday.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 11/5/13 @ 10 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Jury selection is underway for a husband charged with the murder of his wife.

69-year-old Harry Smith pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to the shooting death of 62-year-old Constance”Kay” Smith.

Smith’s trial is taking place in Cabell County Circuit Court.

The shooting happened on July 30, 2011 at the couple’s home on East Pea Ridge in Barboursville.

Smith told deputies the shooting was an accident.

Smith has been on home confinement as part of his bond agreement.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 7/8/13 @ 12 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A new trial date has been set for a man charged with killing his wife.

Prosecutors say Harry Smith, 69, shot his wife Constance, 62, at their home on East Pea Ridge Road in July 2011.

Following the shooting, Smith told deputies the shooting was an accident.

During a hearing Monday morning in Cabell County Circuit Court, Judge Alfred Ferguson set November 5 as the new trial date.

Smith’s attorney also made a motion for home confinement for his client. A ruling on that is expected later in the week.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/24/12 @ 5:35 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.VA. (WSAZ) -- A trial date has been set for a man that is accused of killing his wife.

Harry Smith allegedly killed his wife Constance, 62, at their home on East Pea Ridge Road last July.

Smith told deputies the shooting was an accident.

The murder trial for Smith is set for August 20 at 9 a.m.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/13/12 @ 11:30 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.VA. (WSAZ) -- A man accused of killing his wife was in court Tuesday.

Prosecutors say Harry Smith killed his wife Constance, 62, at their home on East Pea Ridge Road in Cabell County last July.

Smith told deputies the shooting was an accident.

During his arraignment Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge, a pretrial date was set for April 9.

Also during the arraignment, his attorney asked for Smith's financial records to be checked because his funds are frozen. Because of this another attorney may be appointed.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 3/2/12 @ 10:30 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man charged with shooting and killing his wife has been indicted for murder.

Prosecutors say Harry Smith killed his wife Constance, 62, at their home on the East Pea Ridge Road in Cabell County last July.

Smith told deputies the shooting was an accident.

Smith remains on home confinement.



UPDATE 8/23/11 @ 10:50 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man charged with shooting and killing his wife had a bond hearing Tuesday.

Harry Smith is charged with first degree murder of his wife Constance, who was 62 years old.

The shooting happened on July 30 at their home on East Pea Ridge.

Smith told deputies the shooting was an accident, but in a preliminary hearing, a judge found enough evidence to bound the case over to the grand jury.

In Tuesday's bond heading, a judge granted Smith with a $100,000 bond with home confinement and GPS conditions. Smith can post $10,000 in cash or his share of his marital home plus $5,000 cash.

If Smith is indicted, he will be back in court in October.



UPDATE 8/10/11 @ 4:30 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One minute neighbors see a couple weekend barbequing next door.

The next minute, there’s a gunshot, and a husband is charged with killing his wife.

On Wednesday, that Cabell County man faced a judge to find out if he will face a jury, as well as a murder charge.

"Isn't this just as easily hypothesized as an accidental shooting or a negligent shooting rather than an 'I hate you. I'm going to kill you?' " defendant Harry Smith's lawyer asked a detective.

"No, I don't this is so," the detective said.
.
Smith's lawyer questioned the detective during a hearing to determine if the 66-year-old man should face a murder trial.

Deputies say on the evening of Saturday, July 30, at Smith's home along East Pea Ridge home, Smith fired one shot at his wife of 23 years. Known to most as "Kay," Constance Smith was hit in the face with the fatal shot.

Viewing a detective's interview after the shooting with Kay’s son, who is Harry Smith's stepson, Cabell County Prosecutor Chris Chiles feels there's probable cause that there was intent to kill.

“Prior instances of some history and threats show there is probable cause,” Chiles said.

But Nancy Goodpastor, who is Harry Smith's sister and was Kay’s good friend, says she's convinced there was no intent to kill whatsoever.

“I don't know how, but it was an accident," Goodpastor said. "My brother would have taken his own life before he would have taken hers.”

After rejecting a defense plea for a lower manslaughter charge, Magistrate Judge Mike Woelfel ruled there was probable cause in the shooting.

Harry Smith will continue through the court system -- charged with the first-degree murder of his wife.

One detective for the prosecution was not allowed to testify after defense lawyer David Lockwood objected that he and another witness were not fully sequestered.

But it had little bearing on the decision to send the first-degree murder case to the grand jury.



UPDATE 8/10/11 @ 2:30 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Cabell County Grand Jury will now hear the case of a husband arrested and charged with killing his wife.

Cabell County Sheriff investigators say 66-year-old Harry Smith shot and killed his wife, Constance, at their home on Birkewood Road last month.

Smith was in Cabell County Magistrate Court for a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning. Following testimony from a Sheriff’s Deputy, the case was sent to a grand jury.

According to Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas, Smith did not deny shooing his wife with a .38 caliber revolver. Smith also told deputies the shooting was an accident, but investigators arrived at a different conclusion, according to McComas.

According to the criminal complaint, Smith fired one shot and struck his wife in the left side of the face.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information on the case.



UPDATE 7/31/11 @ 6 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A marriage came to a sudden, violent end when police say a man shot his wife in the head.

Harry Smith was arraigned Sunday afternoon and charged with first degree murder of his wife Constance.

Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas says deputies were called to the couple’s home on Birkewood Road in East Pea Ridge before 11 Saturday night.

According to the sheriff, Smith told deputies the shooting was an accident, but investigators arrived at a different conclusion.

McComas says the 66-year-old Smith did not deny shooing his wife with a .38 caliber revolver.

According to the criminal complaint, Smith fired one shot and struck her in the left side of the face.

People along Birkewood Road are stunned by Saturday night’s shooting.

"This is a shock,” Kathy Hettlinger, who lives two houses over from the Smiths, said. “The neighbors are surprised by what's occurred here."

Becki Harless lives across from the Smiths’ house. She says she never saw any indication there was anything wrong between the two.

“They were very friendly, very outgoing people,” Harless said. “We lived by them for the last nine years and never saw any problem between them. We had no idea there was anything going on over there, if there was."

Neighbors say Constance recently retired from teaching in Lincoln County.

"She liked to travel,” Harless said. “She was doing that in her retirement, just enjoying the time that she could."

They say she was known by many as Kay Kay and loved children.

"She loved her grandkids and loved to teach,” Harless said. “She was just a great person."

Harless says Harry often grilled and shared food with the community.

"He'd cook for us, and he'd cook for the whole neighborhood practically," she said.

"The other day Harry was outside, and he was cooking on his smoker, and he shared some of his meat with us,” Hettlinger said. “It was delicious.”

That the Smiths were so friendly and open makes the tragic end to their marriage all the more baffling for those who knew them.

"It is very sad,” Hettlinger said. “We thought everything was fine there, so we're shocked."



ORIGINAL STORY 7/30/11
CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A 66-year old man from Cabell County has been arrested and charged with murder following the shooting death of his wife.

Harry Smith was booked into the Western Regional Jail early Sunday morning.

Cabell County Sheriff Tom McComas tells WSAZ.com that deputies were called to 6169 Birkewood Road near Barboursville shortly before 11 Saturday night.

McComas says deputies and EMS personnel found 62-year-old Constance Smith dead, with a gunshot wound to the head.

The original call came in as an accidental shooting.

McComas says based on what deputies and emergency workers found at the scene, along with a statement given by Mr. Smith, he was charged with murder. The Sheriff says Prosecuting Attorney Chris Chiles was also called to the scene.

No word on a motive for the shooting.

Mrs. Smith’s body was sent to the State Medical Examiner in Charleston.

Mr. Smith is expected to arraigned sometime Sunday.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for updated information.


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