Local News

Slain minister's stepdaughter faces murder charges in court

Posted June 18, 2009 11:25 a.m. EDT
Updated June 18, 2009 6:04 p.m. EDT

— A Knightdale woman smiled and waved to her family as she made her first court appearance Thursday afternoon on first-degree murder charges in the death of her stepfather, who was a minister.

Carletta Patrice Alston, 24, was arrested Wednesday night in the June 4 shooting of Michael Donnell Smith, 48. She was being held in the Wake County Jail.

A judge denied Alston bond at a hearing Thursday afternoon. She asked for a court-appointed attorney, and her next court appearance was set for July 9.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff's office said they expected to make more arrests in the shooting but declined to identify any other suspects or say when the arrests would be made. Investigators have not released a motive in the shooting.

Deputies found Smith lying in his driveway at 1808 Lucas Road around 3:30 a.m. while responding to 911 calls from Smith's wife. Phyllis Smith told dispatchers that she heard gunshots as her husband, also a truck driver, left for work. She also said Alston was calling his cell phone but that he wasn't answering.

Alston lived with Smith and her mother. The couple had been married for seven years, authorities said.

Smith, 48, was an associate minister at Truth and Delivery International Ministry Church in Knightdale, where he preached, taught Bible study, Sunday school and was active in community outreach.