Guilty plea in fatal White Center shooting; started over a cigarette
Prosecutors plan to recommend that a 26-year-old South Seattle man spend a little over 15 years in prison for fatally shooting a woman in August after a fight over a cigarette.
Seattle Times staff reporter
King County prosecutors will recommend that a 26-year-old South Seattle man spend a little over 15 years in prison for killing a woman in August following a fight over a cigarette.
Anthony H. Smith pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder, admitting that he fired the fatal shot that killed Sweetheart Marie Failautusi, 24, after a fight at a White Center bus stop, court records show. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop a firearm enhancement that would have added five years to Smith's prison sentence, the records say.
Smith, who is to be sentenced March 23, faces a standard sentence of 11 to 19 ½ years.
Failautusi and three friends were waiting at a bus stop at Southwest Roxbury Street and 15th Avenue Southwest when they were approached by three men, including Smith, at 12:22 a.m. on Aug. 16, according to court records. One of the men asked for a cigarette but Failautusi and her friends refused, prompting Smith to unleash a string of expletives and starting a brawl between the two groups.
Smith told Failautusi: "I'll be right back; it's not over," before fleeing with the other men, the records say.
When King County sheriff's deputies arrived, Failautusi and one of her friends told them everything was OK and the deputies left, according to court records.
About 30 minutes after the fight, the three men returned and one of them shook hands with Failautusi, which enraged Smith, the records say. He pulled a gun and started firing, striking Failautusi in the back of the head. She collapsed and died in the middle of 15th Avenue Southwest.
The fight and shooting were captured by video surveillance cameras at nearby businesses, the records say. A tip led deputies to identify Smith as the shooter, and he surrendered when detectives showed up at his house a few blocks from the shooting scene on Aug. 17 to arrest him.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org