HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston man accused of stabbing a police dog has now been charged with murder in the death of his father, whose body was found hidden in his home’s garage after authorities said his son evaded capture for several hours.
Ryan Mitchell Smith, 26, remained jailed Thursday after prosecutors accused him of killing his father, Cameron Smith, by using a 15-pound dumbbell to hit him three times in the head on Monday, according to court records.
The death of Cameron Smith came less than a day after Ryan Smith was released from jail on bond following his arrest Saturday on charges related to trying to steal a car and attacking the police dog.
Ralph Manginello, Smith’s attorney, has said his client has a history of mental illness and what he’s accused of doing was likely the result of a “psychotic episode.”
Ryan Smith is accused of attempting a carjacking Saturday morning and then stabbing a Houston police dog named Nate who tried to chase him down.
Smith was arrested on charges of robbery, interference with a police service animal and evading arrest. He was released Sunday from the Harris County Jail after family members posted his bonds and was staying at his father’s house.
Cameron Smith’s family called police on Monday when they couldn’t get a hold of him.
As police officers searched the home late Monday evening, they noticed the father’s truck parked nearby. Officers approached the truck and saw Ryan Smith behind the wheel.
Smith fled the scene and led officers on a chase that ended early Tuesday after he crashed the truck near a park, authorities said. Officers lost track of Smith after he ran into a wooded area. A loaded hunting rifle and the family pet, a black Labrador Retriever, were found in the truck, according to court records. The dog was safe.
Homicide detectives continued searching Cameron Smith’s home and found his body in the garage, hidden under several items, including a small Christmas tree, a table and a chair. The dumbbell that authorities allege was used to kill him was found in the truck.
Ryan Smith was found later Tuesday about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Houston, walking along a highway in Waller County.
“Smith provided a statement (to police) indicating that he had killed (his father) … by distracting him and then striking him in the head 3 times with a 15-pound dumbbell before tying a plastic bag around (his) head,” according to court documents.
Smith is also facing a charge of evading arrest related to the police chase.
Authorities said Nate, the police dog, underwent surgery and was recovering from his injuries.
Officer Paul Foster, Nate’s handler, told KRIV-TV that the police dog was “recovering really well at home” and was expected to be back at work in about two months.
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