Local News

Two Bragg soldiers get life sentences for third soldier's death

Posted October 29, 2012 6:25 p.m. EDT

— Two Fort Bragg soldiers were sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole for the 2008 stabbing death of one man's wife.

Sgt. Christina E. Smith, 29, of Mount Orab, Ohio,was killed on Sept. 30, 2008 as she and her husband, Sgt. Richard Smith, walked near their Fayetteville home.

Richard Smith told police that an attacker had stabbed his wife in the neck and fled, but investigators determined that he had hatched a plot to have her killed.

Pfc. Matthew Kvapil, 22, of Santee, Calif., told police that Richard Smith had propositioned him at least twice about killing Christina Smith, eventually offering him $30,000 to carry out the deed. He said he dressed in black and hid in bushes until the Smiths passed his hiding spot, when he jumped out and stabbed Christina Smith to death.

Kvapil later led officers to the knife used in the attack, which he had discarded in a creek several miles away.

Richard Smith, 30, of Denton, Texas, and Kvapil pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the case to avoid possible death sentences.

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