Local News

Prosecutors seek death for soldier accused in wife's stabbing death

Posted November 4, 2009

— Cumberland County prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a two soldiers accused in the stabbing death of a third, Assistant District Attorney Cal Colyer said Wednesday.

Sgt. Richard Smith, 26, of Denton, Texas, and Pfc. Matthew Kvapil, 19, of Santee, Calif., conspired to kill Smith's wife, Sgt. Christina E. Smith, 29, in September 2008, prosecutors said.

Both men face charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Richard Smith also faces charges of solicitation to commit murder.

The Smiths and Kvapil were assigned to the 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg.

Kvapil told investigators that he dressed in black and hid in bushes while the Smiths walked near their Fayetteville home. When the pair passed his hiding spot, he jumped out and stabbed Christina Smith to death, he said.

Christina Smith was stabbed twice in the back, once in the neck and once in the left arm, according to the report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Kvapil told authorities that Richard Smith had propositioned him at least twice about killing Christina Smith, eventually offering him $30,000 to carry out the deed.

Richard Smith admitted that he'd mentioned having his wife killed, but insisted it was only in fun.


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  • wildcat Nov 5, 2009

    wish something were done to stop this trend of offing your wife

    Maybe not allowing the soldier to marry if he/she is going to a foreign country to fight a war. Many just up and marry because they are going away. Some don't know each other that long. The soldier should wait until he return home to marry his love. A true bride to be would waite also. What is the rush?

  • wildcat Nov 5, 2009

    This is so sad. Just pray for the families. Another tragedy in America.

  • NC Native11 Nov 5, 2009

    Justafella...It's nice to hear there some men tired of seeing women killed like this too. I wish something were done to stop this trend of offing your wife or your whole family for that matter. I pray my daughter never gets involved with a loser who thinks he can abuse her or take her life. It's pathetic.

  • Lead by Example Nov 5, 2009

    Glad to see that some proscutors are still using the death penalty, it is the only punishment that fits this sort of crime.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Nov 5, 2009

    You can't judge the military based on the events we have had at Bragg recently. The vast, vast majority of troops are great, but you do have a few misfits. And in a military atmosphere, their kookiness gets amplified and they do stupid things. Plus the stress many face of knowing that thay will be redeployed must be maddening. I prefer a Commander in Chief who has seen the horrors of war. Draft dodgers and deserters are a lot more likely to entangle us needlessly.

  • thopkins01 Nov 5, 2009

    samiam1244 the military is a job just like any other job. The military is the title of the job just like that plastic surgery doctor in Raleigh that was drivng drunk and killed the young lady who did ballet. This doesn't mean all doctors drive drunk! It doesn't matter what you do for a job its the choices you make as adults. Don't classify all men or women because of the job they do! Whatever job you do samiam1244 do this make you a killer? At the end of the day good and evil choices all always before us but it is up to us to make good decisions!

  • Flyswatter Nov 5, 2009

    i joke about having my fiance' killed off all the time...that's all me and my buddys do is talk about killing each others ladies...

    it's what guys do...

    not really. these guys both need to pay for what they did.

  • GinaH Nov 5, 2009

    Well if you don't want to be married anymore, get a divorce!

  • Daisygirlforever Nov 5, 2009

    catparker1170. Agreed....I hope he does get the death prior to entering the military? I don't care if they went to war; my husband other male amily member fought in wars over the past century and did not come back and kill their wives. If they are so dang unhappy, just LEAVE!!!! Oh, forgot about the greed factor.

  • justafella Nov 4, 2009

    catpacker1170, I'm tired of it too, and I'm somebody's son.