A Man Allegedly Shot His Stepfather Over LGBTQ+ Houseguest
Prosecutors in New Jersey filed first-degree murder charges against a man they say shot and killed his stepfather following a dispute about an LGBTQ+ houseguest.
Christian A. Smith, 23, allegedly shot his stepfather, Dennis McKenzie, 43, three times on October 9 following the escalation of an argument over the sexual orientation of a person brought to the house by a relative. Smith was temporarily staying at the Woolrich Township home of his mother and stepfather.
According to a report from NJ.com, Assistant Prosecutor Dana Anton told a court that Smith “made it known to his stepfather that he did not approve of that person coming into their house” because, as Smith allegedly saw it, “their house was a house of God.”
Anton continued and alleged Smith used an anti-LGBTQ+ slur, that caused McKenzie to throw a punch at his stepson.
“In response to that,” Anon claimed, “Mr. Smith took out a Glock 19 that was in his waistband and shot him three times.”
Katherine Constantine Blinn, Smith’s public defender, disputed Anton’s version of events and claimed the shooting was an accident. She noted how Smith remained at the scene after the shooting, and even disassembled the gun and left it on the dining room table.
“What that suggests to me, judge, is that this was accidental and that in order to prevent any further issues Mr. Smith disassembled the gun until police arrived,” Blinn told the court.
Anton strongly disagreed with Blinn’s version of events, noting that Smith’s mother told police she had stood between her son and husband during the dispute, but that didn’t prevent the shooting.
“He [Smith] took the gun out from behind him, reached over her, and fired three times,” Anton said. “You can’t accidentally shoot somebody three times.”
Blinn noted Smith had a clean criminal history with no reports of violence. However, Superior Court Judge Mary Beth Kramer was unmoved by Blinn’s pleading and ordered Smith held in jail pending trial.
“I find that he represents a danger to the community,” Judge Kramer ruled.
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Published at Thu, 21 Oct 2021 17:09:27 +0000