(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 24½ 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.