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Warrant: Murder suspect's story differed from witnesses'

Posted June 19, 2009
Updated July 15, 2009

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— The story of a Knightdale woman charged in the shooting death of her stepfather was inconsistent with witness accounts of the crime, according to search warrants returned Thursday afternoon.

Several witnesses told Wake County sheriff's investigators that they heard gunshots significantly earlier than what Carletta Patrice Alston had described, according to a June 18 warrant affidavit to search a 2004 silver Pontiac Grand Am.

Alston, 24, is charged with first-degree murder in the June 4 shooting death of Michael Donnell Smith. Deputies found him lying in his driveway at 1808 Lucas Road, outside Knightdale, around 3:30 a.m. while responding to reports of gunfire.

The sheriff's office said Thursday that investigators expect to make more arrests in the shooting.

The affidavit does not detail what Alston told authorities about that night, but it states that investigators collected her clothing and shoes as evidence. State lab tests returned earlier this week showed gunshot residue on the clothing, investigators said.

The affidavit also states that a witness – it does not say who – told deputies that Smith's wallet was missing.

While searching the crime scene for the wallet, one investigator noticed "journal type documents and banking materials." The affidavit does not indicate where.

While preparing to tow the car, another investigator noticed inside the vehicle, purses, wallets, "an unusual large bladed weapon" and shoes, the affidavit continued.

Investigators seized a "cleaver-type knife with taped handle," a pair of brown cloth gloves, a cardboard box and several financial documents, among other items, according to the warrant.

Several other warrants also returned Thursday were requests for investigators to search Smith's BellSouth e-mail account as well as several computers, cell phones seized from the residence and a GPS device seized from Smith's car.

Affidavits for those warrants indicate that deputies found Smith lying on his stomach with what appeared to be a gunshot wound in the area of his mouth.

Alston, as well as Smith's wife, told investigators they were inside the house asleep when they heard what they thought were a scream and then a gunshot, according to a June 4 warrant. Smith's wife then called 911.

Authorities have not offered a motive for Smith's death and do not offer one in any of the warrants.

In a 911 call, his wife, Phyllis Smith, said her husband was leaving for work that morning.

"My husband is on his way to work, and he just left out the door, and I (heard) a gunshot,” she told an emergency dispatcher. “I’m too afraid to go out there and see.”

"I just want to make sure he is OK," she continued. "My daughter is on the phone calling his cell phone."

Phyllis Smith said her husband of seven years was a truck driver. He was also an associate minister at Truth and Delivery International Ministry Church in Knightdale.

Alston lived with Smith and her mother, authorities said.

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  • brandonique Jun 19, 2009

    CrAsH628:Although I did not state it in my first post, I was thinking the same thing that you were concerning going outdie to look and see if my loved one may have been shot. Fear doesn't even come into play when it comes to the well-being of a family member that you love dearly.

    MelloMelnJC: We're on the same page. I think the mother is next also.

  • FoxtrotUniformCharlieKiloakaCALM Jun 19, 2009

    Now I may just be weird, but if my husband/wife was believed to be shot you bet your sweet A I would be out there looking. You don't think about being "scared" when you hear a gunshot, especially with loved ones possibly involved. Also, if you were "scared" this woman on the 911 call just sounds so insincere. Too much focus on being upset. I have had to make VERY tough 911 calls before, and never was I so distraught I couldn't calm down for a minute to give the person on the phone the information they needed,and really, you didn't look out the window to see what was going on? Mother/daughter crime. I'm calling it.

  • itsmyownopinion Jun 19, 2009

    I don't think many of you read the article.

    Here's an excerpt for you -- read slowly now:

    'Alston, as well as Smith's wife, told investigators they were inside the house asleep when they heard what they thought were a scream and then a gunshot, according to a June 4 warrant. Smith's wife then called 911.

    Authorities have not offered a motive for Smith's death and do not offer one in any of the warrants.

    In a 911 call, his wife, Phyllis Smith, said her husband was leaving for work that morning.

    "My husband is on his way to work, and he just left out the door, and I (heard) a gunshot,ā€ she told an emergency dispatcher. ā€œIā€™m too afraid to go out there and see.ā€

    "I just want to make sure he is OK," she continued. "My daughter is on the phone calling his cell phone."'

  • chasityhamm Jun 19, 2009

    LADYBUG1 - I WAS THINKING THE SAAAAME THING!! HOW WAS THE DAUGHTER CALLING THE MAN'S PHONE IF SHE WAS THE ONE WHO PULLED THE TRIGGER?

  • MellowMelnJC Jun 19, 2009

    has anyone listen to the whole 911 call (for some reason some news sites have cut it short-channel 11 site had the whole thing) ...about 1/2 to 3/4 for the way through the call the mother keeps saying "Hello anyone there?" then she ask if they are there....the dispatcher says yes they should be there or might already be there...She said to her daughter they are here....& also she keeps saying she doesnt know...something about that didnt sound right....I think the mother will be charged next...

  • didisaythat Jun 19, 2009

    I wonder if she has broken her mother's heart?..Also I did not see many people saying we have to wait for the evidence and not to judge to quickly. You know it could all be a conspiracy...other than between the mother and daughter.

  • brandonique Jun 19, 2009

    According to the news reports, more arrest will be made. I have a feeling that the wife will be one of the persons also involved. Mr. Smith's mother stated that the marriage was failing and that her son told her that he felt that the wife and the stepdaughter were plotting against him. His stepfather stated that he had expressed his desire to move back home and that he was going to put his things in storage. I listened to the 911 call online and just hearing it made me wonder if she had something to do with it.

  • Ladybug1 Jun 19, 2009

    The fact that mom said her daughter was on the phone calling the step dad's cell phone makes this sound fishy. If the daughter shot the step dad, she couldn't have been in the house calling his cell phone, she would have been outside. Wonder if this was planned by the mother and daughter?

  • SweetB Jun 19, 2009

    ...this whole thing sounds wierd...I will wait to see what they actually find out...to see if my theories are correct...

  • Sick N Tired Jun 19, 2009

    SHe looks way too happy for someone accused of murder. She acts like she is a rock star.

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