Prosecutors revealed Monday that a Maryland man accused of killing three people and injuring three others in June over a parking place dispute outside a residence in Maryland’s capital city will face hate crime charges.
Prosecutors in Maryland have filed hate crime charges against Charles Robert Smith, 43, who is accused of fatally shooting three Latino people in a residential area of Annapolis, Maryland, on June 11.
The Maryland man was previously charged with second-degree murder, but an indictment released by an Anne Arundel County grand jury on Friday charges him with first-degree murder and hate crime in the deaths of Mario Mireles, his father Nicholas Mireles, and Christian Segovia.
The 42-count indictment includes three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of race crime resulting in death, and six counts of attempted first-degree murder, among other offenses, according to a statement issued by the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office on Monday.
According to the state’s attorney’s office, the Maryland man remains in jail without release, and his next court appearance is planned for July 31. Two of Smith’s first attorneys are no longer representing him, and it was unknown who his new counsel was on Monday.
According to the Associated Press, Maryland’s hate crime law applies to crimes involving another person’s race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender. Smith, 43, is White, while the victims are Latino. According to the Associated Press, both of their families have lived on the same street for many years, and there is a history of racial slur claims against one of the deadly victims.
The Maryland man is being jailed without bond, according to the state attorney’s office. Before the charges were enhanced, the Maryland man was accused of second-degree murder. He will risk his life in jail without the possibility of release if convicted of first-degree murder.
An “interpersonal dispute”
Annapolis Police Chief Edward Jackson earlier stated that the incident was the result of an “interpersonal dispute” and featured two weapons: a long handgun and a semi-automatic handgun.
According to police charging papers, an altercation over parking broke out between one of the victims and the Maryland man’s family while the six persons who were shot were present at a sizable party at the Mireles’ house.
The documents claimed that after a heated dispute with Shirley Smith, Charles Smith went home and confronted Mario Mireles. The confrontation grew physical, and Smith drew a gun and fired at Mireles and Segovia.
The report continues, “Smith then stood over Mario Mireles and shot him several more times.” The Maryland man then took a firearm from his home and began shooting at those attempting to aid the victims via a window.
According to authorities, Smith shot Nicolas Mireles, killing him, and injuring Rosalina Segovia, Paul Johnnson, and Enner Canales-Hernandez. When the police came, the Maryland man turned himself in and informed them that he had shot the victims because they had fired at his residence.
However, none of the witnesses who were questioned claimed to have seen any of the victims in possession of a firearm.