Phoenix man accused of killing four people, including his wife and two children



A Phoenix man who thought his wife had an affair killed him, two of their young daughters and a man, said Friday the police.

Austin Smith was charged with four counts of first degree murder, two first degree murder attempts and three counts of aggravated assault, Sgt. Tommy Thompson said.

The bond was set at $ 2 million, according to court records. A senior court in Maricopa County sent Smith's case to the local public defender's office. But no particular lawyer was assigned to him on Friday night.

Smith was arrested on Thursday night as he was leaving an apartment complex where police had reacted to a shootout. There, they found the body of 46-year-old Ron Freeman. A woman and another man were shot and wounded at the compound, Thompson said.

The police initially stated that Smith thought that the man who had been killed had a romantic relationship with his wife, but a probable cause statement later filed with the court indicated that the suspect thought that the man who had been killed was in a relationship with his wife. was his brother, who was not named in the document, who was having an affair. with her. The victim, described as a friend of the family, told Smith "that he was crazy" before Smith killed him.

Police officers who visited Smith later Thursday found his wife, Dasia Patterson, 29, and their 5-year-old daughter, Nasha Smith, dead from gunshot wounds. Their 7 year old daughter, Mayan Smith, died from apparent trauma related to blunt force. The girl's 3-year-old daughter was found uninjured under a bed near the family home.

"I understand that for some reason he chose not to shoot him," Thompson said.

During an interview, the suspect told investigators that he was "convinced that it was acceptable, in the eyes of God, to deal with someone who had been involved in this way." in adultery or in an extramarital affair, "Thompson said.

The court document released later in the evening described Smith hitting the eldest daughter, tossing her to the ceiling and to the floor, then hitting the child's head repeatedly with a baseball bat.

Thompson described the scene in the apartment complex as chaotic, the firefighters dealing with the victims while the authorities did not initially know where the gunman was.

The warrant officers searched the car driven by Smith and found a 9mm handgun, a .45 caliber handgun and a .223 caliber rifle, which they said were used in the shootings, according to Smith. the statement of probable cause.

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The Associated Press writer, Paul Davenport, contributed to this report.


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