AUGUSTA — Leroy Smith III has been indicted on a charge of murder in the mutilation death of his father.
The 24-year-old Gardiner man was indicted on a charge of intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder. A grand jury in Kennebec County Superior Court handed up the indictment Friday.
Smith has been held without bail at the Kennebec County jail since his May 6 arrest.
An indictment is not a determination of guilt, but it indicates that there is enough evidence to proceed with formal charges and a trial.
Smith is accused of killing his father May 3 in the Gardiner home they shared.
Smith, who was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation, told case investigators he killed his father and then “filleted him and buried him in the woods because his dad sexually assaulted him his whole life,” according to an affidavit by Maine State Police Detective Jonah C. O’Roak. There is no record of Leroy Herbert Smith Jr. on a sex offender registry in the U.S.
The affidavit disclosed grim details about the slaying, alleging that Smith killed his father by stabbing him in the jugular. He then dismembered the body and spread the remains among 16 trash bags.
The elder Smith’s remains were found in a wooded area of Richmond.
Smith allegedly has referred to himself as God in front of Massachusetts and Maine police.
According to a public records search, neither Smith has a criminal convictions in Massachusetts. The father was convicted of driving with a suspended license in Maine in 2008.
Westborough, Mass., Police Chief Alan Gordon has said that his department had interaction with the elder Smith in the early 1990s because of reported domestic disputes. Gordon said the elder Smith had no criminal history of sexual assault.
Leroy Smith III was arrested March 5 on a warrant citing a harassment charge in Massachusetts.
Smith was banned from his apartment building in Westborough last fall after he upset other tenants and the landlord, Gordon said. Smith also reportedly set his guitar and amplifier on fire in the backyard because “he believed they were emitting evil music,” Gordon said.
The younger Smith was served with a protection from harassment order on Oct. 29 and violated it on Oct. 30, Gordon said. The town’s court issued a warrant for his arrest when Smith failed to show up for his December court date.
After the initial protection order was issued, the Secret Service contacted police to say they wanted to question Smith about threats he allegedly made against President Barack Obama. Gordon said the FBI had launched an investigation into the allegation.
A judge has ordered that Smith undergo a forensic evaluation of his mental health, a move supported by both the defense and prosecutor.
After the murder, police allege that the younger Smith cleaned up everything — even renting a carpet steamer — and took $1,463 from his father’s wallet.
The day after allegedly murdering his father, the younger Smith drove his father’s Jeep to Westbrook, where he flagged down a police officer and asked directions to Dreamers, a strip club that operated there briefly several years ago. The officer looked up Smith’s identification, found a report about the outstanding arrest warrant from Massachusetts and took him to the Cumberland County Jail.
At the jail, Smith “made excited utterances that he killed his father,” O’Roak’s affidavit states, and gave police directions on a map to find his father’s remains. When an initial search proved unsuccessful, Smith added that he had also discarded a coffee table and other furniture parts, and police said they found the furniture with what looked like blood stains.
Smith apologized to investigators for discarding furniture in the woods.
Police found body parts in 16 dark trash bags as well as a T-shirt and other blood-stained clothing off Lincoln Street in Richmond, according to the affidavit. One of the first bags opened contained a jeans-clad human leg.
Smith told police he first discarded the body parts in a Dumpster outside the apartment in south Gardiner, but later retrieved them after realizing they had not been carted away. His climbing into and out of the Dumpster to remove items piqued the curiosity of neighbors, who told the Kennebec Journal that they saw him in the trash bin during a rainstorm on Sunday and found it strange.
Smith told police he put the bags into a vehicle, and police said they thought he meant his father’s 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee. He said he then dumped the bags in Richmond and told police he planned to return to bury the body on Monday.
Smith also told police he planted more than 20 explosive devices in the woods in Richmond and Gardiner, which prompted police to search the area on foot, with dogs, from an airplane and in a vehicle along the railroad tracks. Police did not find any devices — or a suspected campsite — and said earlier this week Smith may have lied about the explosives.
Craig Crosby — 621-5642 | [email protected] | Twitter: @CraigCrosby4