11/03/09 — City man who killed father has been paroled

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City man who killed father has been paroled

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on November 3, 2009 12:57 PM

A Goldsboro man convicted of killing his father in his sleep in 1992 has been paroled, state authorities say.

David Wayne Smith was 18 when he pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of his father, Wayne L. Smith, 45, on April 17, 1991.

Smith was released on Oct. 19, after first being imprisoned on July 13, 1992, at the Western Youth Institution in Morganton.

Authorities said the murder was a conspiracy, and alleged that three of Smith's friends helped him plot the crime. Two of those friends were eventually found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, while another was acquitted.

Police said Smith shot his father in the head five times, then hid the body under a boat. The vessel was stored at a home the father and son shared on Cedar Road off North Berkeley Boulevard.

Authorities said Wayne Smith's body was found four days after the shooting, badly decomposed.

The victim's ex-wife, Linda Smith, and their daughter, Melissa Ann Smith, were visiting David Wayne Smith when they smelled something foul in the yard, authorities said at the time.

Authorities also pressed charges against the men they believed helped Smith to plot the murder.

Jimmy Ray Holmes Jr. and David Clayton Waltz, now both in their mid-30s, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, and both were sentenced to nine years incarceration.

A third man was acquitted of all charges.

At Smith's July 1992 trial, a jury had been selected and the prosecution had presented one witness before Smith's lawyer announced that his client would plead guilty.

Smith's attorney, Gene Braswell, argued at trial that Smith had been driven to kill his father after many years of alleged physical and verbal abuse.

James Copeland, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, said Smith's decision to live with his father was his own.

Copeland argued that Smith could have escaped an abusive situation by living with his mother, who then resided in Chapel Hill after Smith's parents divorced.