White Center suspect charged with second-degree murder

(WSB photo of deputies at the murder scene, early Tuesday)
Just in from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office:

A charge of Murder Second Degree (11-1-07472-9) was filed today against Anthony H. Smith, 25, who is accused in the shooting death of a 23-year-old woman in White Center on August 16. The charge includes a firearm enhancement. If convicted as charged, the sentence range is 16 to 24¬Ĺ years in prison. Smith is scheduled to be arraigned on September 1 at 8:30 a.m. at the King County Courthouse, courtroom 1201. He remains in jail with bail set at $1 million.

The documents contain additional details of what preceded the shooting, including an allegation that Smith and two other as-yet-unidentified suspects approached victim Sweetheart Marie Failautusi and her friends, asked for a cigarette, and were told “no”; an argument and fistfight ensued, following a short while later by the shooting.

ADDED 3:10 PM: Transcription of the charging document’s narrative – the story of what law enforcers say happened – ahead:

We are omitting names that are not those of the victim and suspect:

On August 16, 2011, at about 0022 hours, Sweetheart Marie Failautusi, (person A), (person B), and (person C) were waiting for a bus in the area of SW Roxbury and 15th Ave SW, Seattle, King County, Washington. As they were waiting, three black males approached: a light-skinned African American male with curly hair (the defendant), a dark-skinned African American male with cornrows going straight down, and a dark-skinned African American male with cornrows in designs. One of the males asked for a cigarette. The group refused to give him a cigarette. The defendant then said, “What’s up cuz?,” “F*** you bitch,” and “crip.” Failautusi told the defendant not to talk to them like that. The defendant then said “F*** you, bitch” and grabbed Failautusi. At that point, Failautusi swung at the defendant, he punched her, and a brawl ensued. (Person C) punched the defendant several times, causing injuries to his face. When he did so, a gun fell from the defendant’s waistband. There was a scramble for the gun and one of the defendant’s friends got the gun. The three men then left but the defendant told the group, “I’ll be right back, it’s not over.”

Deputies responded to the scene shortly after the fight but Failautusi and (person A) told the deputies everything was okay and the deputies left.

About 30 minutes later, the three males returned. The defendant was on a cell phone near a bus stop across SW Roxbury. One of the dark-skinned males approached Failautusi to shake her hand. When Failautusi shook his hand, the defendant started charging, stating, “no, f*** you bitch, don’t touch him.” The defendant pulled out his gun and stated, “What, bitch, what, bitch, I told you I was coming back for you.” Failautusi and her friends began to back away from him as he fired the first two shots. Then the defendant pointed the gun forward, toward (person C) and Failautusi, and fired again, hitting Failautusi. It was approximately 12:58 am.

Failautusi fell immediately and died at the scene. The defendant fled east down Roxbury and then north on 14th. The two dark-skinned males fled as well.

Police responded to the scene. One bullet casing and bullet were recovered at the scene. Police found evidence of two additional gunshots – a bullet strike to the ground and a bullet strike through the window of a local business. Those bullets and casings were not recovered.

Both (persons A and C) confirmed with that the light-skinned black male, the defendant, who they had fought with earlier at the bus shelter, was the one who shot Failautusi.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy and determined the cause of death to Failautusi was one gunshot wound. The bullet entered through the back of Failautusi’s head and exited from ther forehead. She would have died immediately.

Police obtained video from local businesses and were able to observe the fight at the bus shelter as well as the shooting. Police received information that the light-skinned black male on the video might be the defendant, Anthony H. Smith. Police compiled a montage with Smith’s picture and showed it to (person A). She immediately picked Smith out as the shooter of Failautusi.

Immediately after the shooting, police brought in a K9 dog to do a track in an attempt to locate the shooter. The K9 started its track where the shooter was purported to have fired from. The K9 went down Roxbury and then north on 14th. The track was lost in the area of SW Cambridge and 14th Ave SW. This area is approximately two blocks from Smith’s house. …

The narrative also mentions someone living about a block away from the shooting scene encountering Smith and another man shortly before the shooting, and it concludes that when Smith was arrested Wednesday afternoon, “He stated that he wanted to talk to the police but had hired an attorney.” He is scheduled to go to court to answer the charge, second-degree murder with firearm enhancement, on September 1st.

38 Replies to "White Center suspect charged with second-degree murder"

  • JanS August 19, 2011 (3:09 pm)

    someone is dead because of a cigarette…astounding. How stupid , how sad.

  • here August 19, 2011 (3:27 pm)

    This makes me sick. And sicker to think there is a lot more like him out there.

  • Carrie P August 19, 2011 (3:47 pm)

    It seems like these days anyone who dares to say no to someone, about anything, is deemed as “disrespecting”, thus deserving of retribution, usually violent.

    Sad and too frequent. :(

  • Cheryl August 19, 2011 (4:04 pm)

    Sickening indeed. And frankly, 16-24 years is NOT enough time for what he did to this young woman. I don’t care what the fight was over. I don’t care what she said, or didn’t say. No one deserves a bullet to the head. What a shame.

  • rob August 19, 2011 (4:14 pm)

    WTF? how is this second degree murder? based on what is said here it seems pretty apparent he came back with the intention of doing this.

  • onceachef August 19, 2011 (4:17 pm)

    Hopefully, we won’t see Anthony until he’s 50 or so…he’s a coward and deserves a life in prison.

  • Karen August 19, 2011 (4:20 pm)

    Frightening and sad at the same time. I feel so sorry for her family

  • see it clearly August 19, 2011 (4:24 pm)

    I agree with Cheryl. He shot her in the back of the head and the most he can get is 16 – 24 years? Something seems wrong,very Wrong

  • Reformed smoker August 19, 2011 (5:02 pm)

    Death penalty. No less

  • ttt August 19, 2011 (5:04 pm)

    For taking someone’s life he should get life in prison.

  • Bonnie August 19, 2011 (5:07 pm)

    Is there more to this? Did they previously know eachother or was this the first time they ever encountered eachother?

  • sean August 19, 2011 (5:28 pm)

    Mr. Smith is worthless. I can’t even believe I have to spend tax dollars to keep him in prison. It is about time we reform our laws to have greater impact.

  • bridge to somewhere August 19, 2011 (5:29 pm)

    How unbelievably depressing. A bunch of dudes duking it out with women. Then one actually shooting a woman in the head. No shame. Pathetic. This is what it means to be a Crip? The parents of this Smith guy should be very proud indeed.
    I hope they catch the other guys too, and try them as accessories to this murder. What trashy thug life . . .I can’t believe we have to live in a society with these kinds of criminals

  • Joel August 19, 2011 (6:23 pm)

    @Sean…..something tells me your tax dollars (and mine) have already been supporting this punk.

    should be first degree murder. argument was over and he said he’d be back and did so and killed her. how is that not premediated?

  • Westside J. August 19, 2011 (6:45 pm)

    I just don’t understand how you can murder someone, in anyway, and not get life. Or death. 15-24 years?? Really? I hope they let her family know when/where he is released.

  • Amanda August 19, 2011 (6:58 pm)

    What do you have to do for it to be 1st degree murder?

  • Chaz August 19, 2011 (7:32 pm)

    Lucky for him he got arrested Im sure the Samoans would have handled business, Would have been like the gang war in the summer of 93 in West Seattle.

    Chaz

  • Delridge Citizen August 19, 2011 (7:55 pm)

    How is this 2nd degree murder? He came back to confront her and shot her in cold blood because she stood up for herself and her friends. Unbelievable that this doesn’t warrant a charge of first degree murder. My heart goes out to Sweetheart’s family that something so senseless could take this young woman’s life. I really don’t have words…makes me sick.

  • sad August 19, 2011 (8:10 pm)

    Someone’s beloved daughter, sister, friend died for no reason. May she rest in peace.

  • cj August 19, 2011 (9:08 pm)

    I don’t understand the 2nd degree charge ether. He said he would be back, got a gun and then came back and shot her. So maybe he didn’t take a month to plan it but still sounds premeditated to me.

  • carole August 19, 2011 (9:45 pm)

    That firearm enhancement will add 60 months, to be served first, no good time reduction on an enhancement.

  • clark5080 August 19, 2011 (11:09 pm)

    I for one am glad that the other two girls identified the scumbag. Not often you see that these days

  • dm August 19, 2011 (11:45 pm)

    I agree that the 2nd degree charge doesn’t make sense if he purposefully came back…It’s so tragic. My heart goes out to her family…and I’m horrified that there are youngish people out there that think murder is an acceptable way to deal with what was basically a social disagreemnet.

  • visitor August 19, 2011 (11:48 pm)

    I wonder if they’re going for 1(a) or 1(b) because neither seems to fit. Is there more to this story? If not, it’s similar to the recent bus shooting in Philly. Some random person on the bus tells a woman that the way she’s spanking her child would be considered child abuse, and she calls her homies to meet her at the bus stop and shoot this guy. Pathetic. Shooting her in the back of the head….. What the h@ll is wrong with this punk!

  • Wow August 19, 2011 (11:50 pm)

    Smith is a coward.. 1st degree murder.. It was obviosly premeditated.. He belongs in prison for life! Heart goes out to the family.. RIP SWEETHEART *Tears*

  • Westgirl August 20, 2011 (12:45 am)

    Wow. Heartbreaking. Sending prayers and condolences to the victims family.

  • WTF August 20, 2011 (12:48 am)

    Rob, my sentiments exactly.
    That P.O.S. wasn’t man enough to walk away from the situation. I don’t care either what this girl did or didn’t do, she was premeditatedly murdered. Hope the prosecution finds extenuating circumstances to escalated the final charge. SPD good on you for a great capture. Well done and thank you. So sorry for her family and friends. My hope is that this is a wake up call…

  • omg! August 20, 2011 (9:08 am)

    sounds to me like this punk is mad that he got physically beat up by a female. i’m livid that it’s not pre-meditated. he told her he would be back and that’s exactly what he did. came back and killed her. he’s a sissy, punk, wimp, just to name a few. i am sure when he gets to prison he will get his by others. I agree w the previous comment. His mama/family should be proud they raised a killer. RIP SWEETHEART. My prayers/thoughts go out to her family. GOD BLESS!

  • gary August 20, 2011 (9:12 am)

    KCSO..Job well done!

  • ms.pedro August 20, 2011 (1:23 pm)

    omg its so sad… i drove by where it happened and man icould jst cry…. that punk needs life f 16 24 yrs… smith is a pathetic excuse for a man… rest in love SWEATHEART FOR YU R IN A BETTER PLACE and yur family no need 4 tears yur beloved sweatheart is watching over yu…. much alofa to the fam…

  • WTF August 20, 2011 (1:46 pm)

    KCSO = good job!! Sorry didn’t mention you earlier. You’re the best.

  • bothsides August 20, 2011 (2:59 pm)

    The reality is TWO young lives were forever changed. This young lady lost her life and the young man’s life is pretty much over as well. All I can do is pray for the families of both of these young people.

  • Cbo August 20, 2011 (7:08 pm)

    He shot a terrified fleeing victim, you know she was tryin to run away cause she got hit in the back
    And it was a female
    Wow
    Crip = stupid trash
    Feed him to dogs
    More severe punishments are needed
    Over a freakin stogie??? Wtf???

  • ellipseinterrobang August 20, 2011 (11:23 pm)

    Heartbreaking… 24 years doesn’t seem quite long enough, and the chance of it being a mere 16 year sentence is… disgraceful.

    Hopefully the prosecution will succeed.

    And may jail prove to be as torturous as what the family of the victim, and the victim incurred.

  • Pv August 21, 2011 (6:57 am)

    How is this not first degree murder? What elements are missing?

  • Polymoan808425 August 21, 2011 (8:35 am)

    How is this murder in the second. He clearly had a weapon and came back intending to do harm with it. To me that is premeditated.

    The law states QUOTE:

    1) A person is guilty of murder in the second degree when:

    (a) With intent to cause the death of another person but without premeditation, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person; or

    (ii) Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article, or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury; and

    (iii) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article, or substance; and

    (iv) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.

    (2) Murder in the second degree is a class A felony.

    Anthony you are lucky the law got to yo before us cousin’s did. That’s ok though. The other cousin’s will see you behind the walls and you will see what it is like to be hung like a pinata then beaten till you are busted open…

    Fa’a kaupaki… Fa’a Samoa Chaa Woo

  • Angel August 25, 2011 (10:47 pm)

    This is my neighborhood… it makes me sick that these killings happen… a man with such hate, feels he has the right, over not getting a cig, to shoot a woman in the head… It is heartbreaking and also amazing to see the balloons, the photo collages and the people who have taken over the corner of Roxbury and 15th every morning, noon and night… rest in peace Sweetheart, God has gained another Angel in you.

Sorry, comment time is over.