Local News

Autopsy: Soldier fought attacker

Posted October 22, 2008 5:34 p.m. EDT
Updated October 23, 2008 6:13 p.m. EDT

— A Fort Bragg soldier stabbed to death in a plot police believe was created by her husband suffered wounds that suggest she fought back against her attacker, according to an autopsy made available Wednesday.

Sgt. Christina E. Smith, 29, of Mount Orab, Ohio, died from damage to two arteries and her jugular vein, the report said. She 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.

Her husband, Sgt. Richard Smith, 26, of Denton, Texas, has been charged, as has Pfc. Matthew Kvapil, 19, of Santee, Calif. Both are accused of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The Smiths and Kvapil were assigned to the 4th Psychological Operations Group.

Both men are scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

Police reports said Kvapil told investigators that he dressed in black and hid in bushes while the Smiths walked near their Fayetteville home on the evening of Sept. 30. When the pair passed his hiding spot, he jumped out and stabbed Christina Smith to death, he said.

Officers responding to the emergency call found Richard Smith holding his wife, stabbed and bleeding, in the roadway. He told them an attacker had stabbed his wife in the neck and fled.

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 told authorities he'd mentioned having his wife killed to people several times, but only in fun.

Kvapil later led authorities to the knife used in the attack, which he had discarded in a creek several miles from the crime scene.

Fayetteville police declined comment Wednesday, letting leave the documents speak for themselves.

Christina Smith is the fourth service member in North Carolina whose husband or lover has been charged in their deaths.

Fort Bragg Spc. Megan Touma, 23, was found dead June 21 at a Fayetteville motel, and the body of 2nd Lt. Holley Wimunc, 24, also assigned to Fort Bragg, was found in a wooded area near Camp Lejeune on July 13.

Marine Cpl. Maria Lauterbach of Vandalia, Ohio, was found dead near Camp Lejeune in January.