HOUSTON — A Houston man who stabbed a police K-9 last weekend and eluded authorities trying to arrest him has been formally charged in the beating death of his father, according to police.
Ryan Mitchell Smith, 26, is charged with murder in the death of Cameron Smith, whose body was found hidden early Tuesday in a “difficult to find” area of his garage. The younger Smith, who reportedly works for a crime scene cleanup company, was staying with his father after posting bond on the criminal charges filed against him over the weekend.
The murder charge has been tacked on to Ryan Smith’s charges from the weekend, which include robbery with bodily injury, interference with a police service animal and evading arrest. The police dog Smith allegedly stabbed, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois named Nate, survived and is recovering at the home of his handler.
Smith also allegedly attempted to carjack a couple of men, threatening to kill the driver if he didn’t hand over the keys.
Prosecutors allege in court records that Smith, who was released from the Harris County Jail on Sunday after posting $50,000 bond, failed to appear in court the next day for a hearing. On Monday, family members called police to report that they could not reach Smith’s father, who appeared to have left home without his cellphone.
“Family members came to the location, they searched the property and they didn’t find anything of immediate concern other than the fact that (Cameron Smith) had left his cellphone behind, which was uncharacteristic,” Houston police Commander Kevin Deese said earlier this week.
Watch Tuesday’s news conference below.
While Cameron Smith’s phone remained at his house, his black GMC Denali pickup truck was gone, according to court documents.
Police investigators also searched the house, located at 14711 Carolcrest Drive, but could find no sign of the missing man, nor any immediate signs of foul play.
While they were outside the home early Tuesday morning, however, they spotted the black Denali situated down the street, with the headlights off and the license plates removed from the truck. Inside was Ryan Smith.
When police officers drove by, Ryan Smith sped off and led the officers on a chase for about 10 miles, at which point he crashed the truck and fled on foot.
“Discovered in the vehicle was a loaded hunting rifle where defendant Smith’s leg would have been as he was driving, and a black Labrador Retriever,” the court documents state. “In the bed of the vehicle was a 15-pound metal dumbbell with blood on it, and a tent.”
Read prosecutors’ motion for sufficient bond, which details the allegations against Ryan Smith.
While officers continued to search for Ryan Smith, homicide detectives continued their search at Cameron Smith’s home.
“Unfortunately, in the early part of this morning, they found our decedent in the garage, dead from apparently not natural causes,” Deese said Tuesday. “But he was hidden in a location that made it very difficult for anybody to find him.”
Court records indicate that the bag over Cameron Smith’s head and the blood at the scene made it immediately clear his death was not a natural one. An autopsy confirmed his cause and manner of death.
Meanwhile, Ryan Smith was found walking along a highway near Bellville, in Austin County, on Tuesday afternoon. He was arrested and taken to the police station for questioning.
Investigators allege that the younger Smith confessed to killing his father.
“Defendant Smith provided a statement indicating that he had killed Mr. Cameron Smith on (Monday) by distracting him and then striking him in the head three times with a 15-pound dumbbell before tying a plastic bag around Cameron Smith’s head,” the court documents state.
No motive was listed for the homicide, but prosecutors argued that Ryan Smith should be held on a high bond because of the violent crime he is accused of committing while out on bond for multiple felony and misdemeanor charges. Several of his alleged actions on Monday and Tuesday also violated the terms of that weekend bond, the documents allege.
Prosecutors are seeking a bond of $2 million.
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