|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Alleged arsonist, pet killer pleads not guilty to three more charges

    Darryl Wayne Smith Jr., 27, is accused of setting a fire that killed ex-girlfriend's pet rabbit and cat
  • A Medford man who allegedly set fire to his ex-girlfriend's pets pleaded not guilty Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court to three additional burglary charges related to the case.
    • email print
  • »  RELATED CONTENT
  • A Medford man who allegedly set fire to his ex-girlfriend's pets pleaded not guilty Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court to three additional burglary charges related to the case.
    Darryl Wayne Smith Jr., 27, already was facing charges of first-degree arson, aggravated animal abuse and animal abuse related to the mid-February incident in which police allege Smith targeted the woman's pet rabbit and cat in an ongoing domestic violence dispute.
    Smith pleaded not guilty to the initial charges on Feb. 29 before Jackson County Circuit Judge Tim Barnack.
    On Thursday afternoon, Smith, who had been released from the Jackson County Jail on Feb. 24 after posting $50,000 bail, offered three more not guilty pleas to a trio of first-degree burglary charges before Judge Tim Gerking.
    Fire engines were called to the residence in the 1000 block of Olympic Avenue at 2:37 a.m. on Feb. 17 after an alert neighbor reported seeing smoke and flames inside the home.
    Upon arrival, fire personnel found the living room in flames. They quickly doused the fire and found that no one was home.
    However, the woman's rabbit died in the flames and her cat was injured, Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said, adding it appeared Smith intended to harm the woman's pets.
    While officers were still on the scene, Smith arrived at the home. Investigators determined that the woman living at the home had a restraining order against him.
    Court records show the woman has filed at least two restraining orders against Smith. He was arrested and jailed for violating the restraining order the day before the incident.
    Smith was released from jail later that day after posting bail. He was arrested and jailed again on Feb. 17 for the animal abuse and arson charges. He posted bail on Feb. 24, jail officials said.
    Fire investigators found evidence that the fire was intentionally set, and further evidence suggested Smith had started the blaze as part of an ongoing domestic dispute with the woman, Budreau said.
    First-degree arson is a Measure 11 crime that carries a mandatory 7.5-year sentence upon conviction.
    Aggravated animal abuse is a felony and is charged when a person maliciously kills or tortures an animal.
    Budreau expressed sympathy for the animals who were killed or injured. The incident could have turned out even worse, he said. Other homes could have caught fire, or first responders, assuming someone was home in the early hours of the morning, could have lost their lives battling the blaze.
    Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email sspecht@mailtribune.com.
Reader Reaction

      calendar