200212-yh-news-smith

Richard Ugene Smith signs court documents during a preliminary appearance hearing in Yakima County Superior Court Feb. 6. 2020. Smith is charged with first-degree murder in the 2017 death of his brother, and theft, robbery and assault after prosecutors said he took his other brother's car and dragged him several feet. (Donald W. Meyers/Yakima Herald-Republic)

A Yakima man charged with murdering his brother had his bail increased after he was charged with stealing his other brother’s car and dragging him as he went to a court hearing.

Richard Ugene Smith, 55, had previously posted $75,000 bail when he stole his brother’s car while the brother was driving him to a Feb. 4 court hearing, according to court documents. At a Tuesday bail hearing, Yakima County Superior Court Judge Richard Bartheld increased his bail on the homicide charge to $100,000 in light of the new charges, prosecutors said.

Smith, who was riding in the back seat of the vehicle on Feb. 4, pretended to throw his brother’s bag out the window, according to a Yakima County sheriff’s probable cause affidavit. When the brother got out to look for the bag, Smith got in the driver’s seat, the affidavit said. Smith ignored his brother’s order to get out of the car and drove off, dragging his brother several feet and causing minor injuries to his elbow, the affidavit said.

Smith was charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his brother, Leonard. Smith is accused of stabbing his brother on Dec. 21, 2016, following an argument over space heaters in the home they shared with their mother, according to court documents.

Leonard Smith was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of his wounds and released, but he died Jan. 4, 2017, of an infection from the knife wounds, the Yakima County Coroner’s office reported earlier.

Richard Smith was charged Monday with theft of a motor vehicle, taking a motor vehicle without permission, second-degree robbery and second-degree assault. His bail was set at $50,000 on those charges, according to court records.

Reach Donald W. Meyers at dmeyers@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: donaldwmeyers, or https://www.facebook.com/donaldwmeyersjournalist.