A Yakima man charged with murder for fatally stabbing his brother is now accused of dragging another brother with his car while going to a court hearing.
Richard Ugene Smith’s brother was driving him to a court hearing at Yakima County Superior Court around 9:20 a.m. Tuesday when Smith, who was riding in the back seat of the vehicle, pretended to throw his brother’s bag out the window on Kelly Lane, 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, 55, 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.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Smith as he was leaving court in the basement of the Yakima County jail. He is being held on suspicion of second-degree assault and taking a motor vehicle without permission.
Yakima County Superior Court Judge Richard Bartheld set his bail at $50,000 during a preliminary appearance Thursday. Among the factors Bartheld cited were Smith’s erratic behavior at his Tuesday hearing.
Smith was free on $75,000 bail at the time of the incident, according to court documents.
Smith is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his brother, Leonard. He had stabbed his brother Dec. 21, 2016, following an argument over space heaters in the home they shared with their mother, according to court documents.
Leonard Smith was initially taken to Harborview Medical Center and released, but died Jan. 4, 2017, of an infection that was a result of the knife attack, the Yakima County Coroner’s Office said earlier. Smith’s earlier first-degree assault charge in the case was amended to murder.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with information about Smith’s preliminary appearance.