Local News

Mother of slain Knightdale minister says son wasn't happily married

Posted June 8, 2009 6:03 p.m. EDT
Updated June 8, 2009 7:40 p.m. EDT

— The mother a slain minister in Wake County says her son and wife were having marital problems at the time of his death.

Deputies found Michael Donnell Smith’s body in the driveway of his home at 1808 Lucas Road early Thursday. The sheriff's office has released few details about the probe, but Smith's wife said investigators seized clothing, computers and cell phones from the home Thursday as possible evidence.

Phyllis Smith was married to the 48-year-old ordained minister for seven years. She says he was leaving their Knightdale home for his job as a truck driver around 3 a.m. when he was shot and killed.

"I was woken to a gunshot and a yell," she said.

Investigators have not named a suspect in the case.

"I didn't know a lot of what was going on, but I do know that he wasn't happy,” said Carolyn Hines, victim's mother.

Hines says her son recently confided in her about his marital problems.

"He said somehow or another they were conniving against him, her daughter and her,” Hines said.

Smith's wife denies having anything to do with his death. Both women say they just want the person responsible to be arrested.

“I don't know who would want to do something like that to my husband, because he was the best man there was (and) he didn't have an enemy at all, not at all,” Phyllis Smith said.

“The hurting part is who did it and why, because he didn't deserve to die like that,” Hines said.

Smith's wife says deputies told her a wallet was stolen during the shooting. However, investigators have not released that information to the public.

Anyone with information about Smith's death is asked to call the Wake County Sheriff's Office at 919-856-6900.