Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - April 30, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina
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April 30,2011 Vol. 145, No. 120
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HUSBAND IS SUSPECT IN SMITH MURDER
Wilson Smith Jr. named by ADPS investigator in 2008 court document
nilJV y — * years that her father is a suspect
■ ' ti3 m “
By KAREN DAILY
IX*spite yean of police repeat-dh refusing to publicly identity the estranged husband of slain middle school teacher Ann Fox Smith as a murder suspect, court documents acquired Friday show that investigators have considered Wilson Smith Jr. just that since her slaying in 2008.
The Kennedy Middle School .acher s bod) was found the bemoon of April 25, 2008, at her Whiney Urn e home. She had been tabbed multiple times, prompting a ircstorm of questions from the pubic and the media, asking who killed he mother of three and “beloved” leacher.
Police said publicly they had no suspects or persons of interest but were apparently reporting something different to court officials. Friday, the Aiken Standard uncovered a document filed with a pro hate iudge by the lead investigator on the case only two months after
The document, dated June lh, 2008. states that “Wilson Smith Jr. who is the husband cl the deceased has NOT been cleared and is still a suspect as of this date ‘
But in the months and years to follow, as police continued to eliminate persons of interest or suspects - two terms which officers said can be used interchangeably - Public Safety still maintained publicly that they could not identify a suspect Officers said some members of Ann Fox Smith’s family, including her youngest son Larson Smith and daughter Lauren M. Wnght, had been cleared.
Photo submitted by Ann Fox Smith’s family
Ann Fox Smith adjusts her sunglasses. This photo stood in proxy at the August 2010 wedding of Smith's daughter Lauren M. Wright
From his Twin Dragons Martial Arts & Fitness business on Dougherty Road on Friday, Wilson
"We hope this will signal to the community our justified suspicion and prompt our father s associates to come forward with any information they may have. We continue to pray for justice.
Lauren M. W right,
daughter of slain teacher Ann Fox Smith
Smith Jr. said he had no commem.
The estranged couple’s daughter said the family has known for
years that her father is a suspect and are happy the information is now public.
“My brother Larson and I are pleased that arter three years the case is finally picking up momentum.” Wright stated in an email “We hope this will signal to the community our justified suspicion and prompt our father s associates to come forward with any information they may have. We continue to pray for justice.”
In August, a State Law f ntorcement profiler came to Aiken to describe the man who killed the middle school teacher Profiler Lt. Michael Prodan said the murderer "feels good about the killing and stabbed her in a fit of •rage” for a “personal cau-e.
“He knew that he would find her alane and vulnerable at her residence at that time of the morning
Please SM SMITH, page 5A
The time for pickin’ and gnnntn' has come around again, as the 2011 AIKEN BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL returns for the sixth year in a row See details in LIVING ON THE GO tomorrow
SRNS donates $30K to Children’s Place for bus
Joseph J. Palker,
Louslana Oakman Smith,
North Augusta Maryfae Sanders,
Miriam Togneri Posay,
Richard Walton, Aiken Deaths and funerals 16A
By ROB NOVIT
Santa Claus paid a % isit to dozen of kids at Chil-dren’s Place Friday. So did Bugs Bunny. Really They were accompanied by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions executives, w ho provided the real gift - a $30,000 corporate donation to fully pay oft a new bus for the agency.
Children’s Place pn>-vides therapeutic sen ices to children at risk and their families. The donation will prov uJe the agency with a fourth bus. Two of the other buses have about 250,000 miles on them, said exeeutiv e director Peggy Ford “Our buses travel 5,000 miles a month to pick up children throughout the county,” she said. “Hus effort started a year ago when we got a grant from the Community Foundation from the TSRA for a down payment on a new bus. Then SRNS stepped
Former USDA director Sherrod addresses NAACP
Staff photo by Rob Novit Gathered in front of a new bus for Children's Place that Savannah River Nuclear Solutions will provide the pay ments for are, from left SRNS President Carry Flowers, Children's Place's Executive Director Peggy Ford, board Chair Gerry Owen and staff member Kelly Findley.
“This will go toward operations and help these kids,” he said. “We’re a nonprofit and we have to have community support
up and paid it oft They knew we were struggling financially, and we’re very thankful.” The contribution will save Children’s Place about $625 a month, said Gerry Owen, the agency’s board chairman.
Please see BUS, page 5A
By ROB NOVIT
Shirley Sherrod is still amazed how her new job with the U.S.
Department of Agriculture rn Georgia ureas cled so quickly rn 2010.
At the Aiken
Branch NAACP Freedom Fund banquet Fnday, Sherrod, an African American, described the ordeal of being falsely accused by a conservative blogger of racism against a white farmer in 1086.
She wa;, forced to resign from her position as the USDA Georgia director of rural development last July. Within a few days Sherrod was vindicated - in part by
Staff photo by Rob Novit Retired Aiken County school administrator Rosie Berry, right is recognized by Louisiana Wright as one of three "unsung heroes" at the Aiken Branch NAACP banquet
the farmer himself. But she remains baffled are! frustrated by the experience
“I can’t describe what it s like to go through thai when you has en’t done anything.
Please see NAACP, page 5A
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