VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Video first obtained by KOIN 6 News on Friday shows the moment as hit-and-run suspect Brandon C. Smith turned himself into police earlier this week.
The video, which was provided to KOIN 6 News under the Washington State Freedom of Information Act, shows Smith walking into the Vancouver Police West Precinct on Wednesday afternoon around 5 p.m. with his attorney Jon McMullen.
The video shows Smith, dressed in a green sweatshirt, dark pants and a Seattle Seahawks cap walking into the police department with his attorney. There is another unidentified woman accompanying them. McMullen checks in with the front desk staff as Smith stands at his side. Two detectives are later seen walking with Smith, off camera, to a holding cell. Vancouver police had requested Smith turn himself in, McMullen said.
The 27-year-old suspect is accused of being the driver of a white Toyota Tacoma pickup that struck three people as they were in a marked crosswalk Jan. 19 at the intersection of Northeast 72nd and Northeast Vancouver Mall Drive.
He appeared in Clark County Superior Court for the first time Thursday. He has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, three counts of hit and run and one count each of first-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence.
Kim Kapp, a police spokesperson, said Smith hit Raisa Mosh, her 12-year-old son, and Irina Gardiant. Mosh was killed at the scene of the crash. Gardiant was transported to a Vancouver hospital but later died. Kacey Vu, the prosecutor assigned to the case, told KOIN 6 News that Mosh’s son is now recovering at home and is confined to a wheelchair. He is expected to make a full recovery, officials said.
According to a probable cause affidavit, police started handing out flyers asking for information on the whereabouts of a white Toyota Tacoma the day after the fatal crash. According to witnesses at the scene of the crash, the Tacoma didn’t slow down as it entered the intersection and sped off rapidly following the impact, court documents state.
Police talked with witnesses at the Larkspur Place Apartments who said Smith owned a Tacoma pickup and that in the days following the crash, it had not been seen. Detectives later obtained a search warrant once they learned of the truck’s whereabouts. Police contacted Smith at his parent’s home and told them that they needed to contact his attorney who knew where the vehicle was located.
During the search of the vehicle, police found significant front-end damage to the hood, bumper, head lamp, fog lamp and a missing grill, court documents state. Police also located a Seahawks emblem sticker on the tailgate of the truck. Officials have suggested that is important because it indicates Smith is a Seahawks fan. On the night of the crash, police believe he and his girlfriend, Kalista Andino, where at a friend’s house watching the NFC Championship game.
Court documents state during the search of Smith’s and Andino’s apartment, an Apple laptop was found. During a search of that, officers found that an Amazon.com order was placed Jan. 20, 2014 using the computer. The email associated to the order was bcsmithXXXX@yahoo.com (full e-mail address redacted). The items ordered included a grille assembly and a pair of Toyota Tacoma chrome headlights, court documents state. Police said the items that had been ordered were going to be shipped to Smith’s apartment complex.
Court documents state that during the NFC Championship game, Smith was wearing a jersey with the number 12 on the front and “B SMITH” written on the back. The jersey was later found in the vehicle that police searched, court documents state.
Smith is expected to appear in court again on Feb. 7 for his arraignment. His mother Linda Smith was arrested along with Andino and both have been charged with witness tampering. Police said both took steps to encourage potential witnesses not to talk to investigators. Each has since posted $30,000 bail and have been released. Police stressed their investigation remains open and more arrests could be made.
— Brent Weisberg