COLUMBUS – A Lowndes County grand jury did not return an indictment this week against Davius Smith, who was charged in December in the shooting death of his father, Robert Smith Jr. The victim was the son of Columbus Mayor Robert Smith.
Robert Smith Jr. was shot at his home at 169 Temple Cove on Dec. 14. He was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, where he was pronounced dead later that afternoon. Davius Smith turned himself in Dec. 16, and was charged with murder by Justice Court Judge Ron Cooke that same day. He was released on a $100,000 bond.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation handled the case.
Davius Smith was enrolled in nursing school, and had no previous criminal record. His attorney, Rod Ray, said that he acted out of self-defense.
Monday morning the grand jury declined to indict him for the killing, which means that it did not find enough evidence to support a murder charge.
According to court documents, he and his father got into an argument at their residence. In a statement, Davius Smith claims his father put a gun to his head and threatened to shoot him. He claims that he pulled a gun from a dresser, closed his eyes and fired once before fleeing the house. That round struck Robert Smith Jr. in the stomach.
Court documents indicate that a loaded .380-caliber pistol was found near Robert Smith Jr. when first responders arrive.
Davius Smith, in his statement to investigators, stated that there was a history of domestic violence in his father’s household. He said that he witnessed his father beat his mother and that he had pulled a gun on her on previous occasions.
According to a statement Davis Smith’s mother, she had returned late from her job at Paccar and he became abusive because he had not called to tell her she would be late.