CLARKSBURG (AP) — Court documents in a case related to the slaying of Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller last year indicate the fugitive who also died in the shootout was ready for a firefight.
The Exponent Telegram says new filings show authorities found 22 loaded weapons strategically placed around the Elkins home, and windows had been covered with blankets to hide the occupants.
Hotsinpiller was killed and two other deputy marshals were injured last February when they went to the house to arrest fugitive Charles Smith, who had been wanted on drug charges.
The revelations about the weapons are in filings related to the sentencing of Smith’s daughter, Cassandra Smith. She and her mother, Sherry Lou White, are scheduled to appear in Elkins on Feb. 28 before U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin.
The women and Cassandra Smith’s boyfriend, Anthony Lambert, have pleaded guilty to lying to investigators who were searching for Charles Smith. White, who was known as Sherry Smith at the time, was the fugitive’s wife. Each could get as many as five years in prison.
Cassandra Smith’s attorney, however, is trying to have statements her client made while preparing for a polygraph exam thrown out. Deirdre Purdy claims her client didn’t know her father was a fugitive or that he’d threatened to “shoot it out” with anyone who tried to arrest him.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Morgan says in a court document that Cassandra Smith waived her rights as she prepared for the lie-detector test then confessed she knew her father was wanted “and that he had been taking steps to elude capture.’’
The polygraph was never given, however, because Cassandra Smith became too emotional.
Purdy argues her client didn’t have the benefit of legal counsel at the time.
Morgan denies that, saying Cassandra Smith and her lawyer met at the prosecutor’s office about the plan for the exam that morning.