View Full Version : Former Raiders Player Sentenced to Life Without Parole for 3 Murders

03-13-2012, 06:58 AM

Murder trial of ex-Raiders player begins
Anthony Wayne Smith, who played football with the L.A. and Oakland Raiders, and two other men are charged with murdering a Lancaster mechanic. 'There is no evidence' Smith was there, his lawyer says.


Los Angeles Times

March 13, 2012
Anthony Wayne Smith, a former defensive end for the Oakland Raiders, lured a Lancaster mechanic to a remote stretch of desert highway and together with two accomplices murdered the man, prosecutors told a jury Monday at the Antelope Valley Courthouse.

Smith, 44, who played professional football with the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders between 1991 and 1998, is charged with the October 2008 murder of 31-year-old Maurilio Ponce. Also charged are Charles Eric Honest, 42, of Los Angeles and Dewann Wesley White, 33, of Bloomington. Smith and Honest are being tried simultaneously by separate juries. White is scheduled to go to trial Monday, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Ponce "was beaten, stomped and shot six times … twice in the head," Deputy Dist. Atty. Taly Peretz told the jury during opening statements. "Maurilio Ponce was executed and left dying there on the pavement."

Peretz did not indicate a clear motive for the murder, but during pretrial discussions with the jury absent, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Carlos A. Chung referred to the case as "a business-deal-gone-wrong kind of killing."

According to Peretz, about 11 p.m. on Oct. 6, 2008, Ponce received a call on his cellphone from Smith. Ponce's wife, Evangelina, heard her husband say "Hello, Tony" before he retreated to another room to speak in private, Peretz said.

The phone call prompted Ponce to get dressed and leave the house. This wasn't unusual because Ponce was a diesel mechanic who often assisted semi-truck drivers in need of service, Peretz said. What was odd was that Ponce didn't don his typical work wear of a T-shirt and Dickies pants; instead, he put on jeans and a sweater. And instead of using one of his two work pickups, Ponce asked to borrow his wife's SUV.

That same night, Smith and his accomplices had headed to northern Los Angeles County "to carry out a stolen goods cargo job or to carry out a murderous intent," Peretz said. Either way, their jaunt ended with Ponce's death, Peretz said.

Ponce's body was found in the early hours of Oct. 7, dumped on East Avenue I near 110th Street West, less than six miles from his home. Cellphone records put Smith and Honest near the scene, prosecutors said. Investigators found Ponce's car, cellphone and other belongings in the parking garage of Smith's Marina del Rey condo, they said.

Smith offered detectives 10 versions:p of how the items got there before admitting that he had intended to meet Ponce on the night of Ponce's death, Peretz said. Smith said that he and Ponce were involved in smuggling stolen cargo and that Ponce had promised to give Smith $10,000 to move some goods that night.

Honest told investigators he had gone to the Antelope Valley intending to move a load of stolen tires. But then Smith told him the arrangement was off, Peretz said.

In their opening statements, defense attorneys for Smith and Honest denied their clients were involved in Ponce's murder. They said the prosecution's case was based on theory, not fact, and questioned prosecutors' reliance on cellphone records.

"There is no evidence of Anthony Smith being at the scene of the homicide ... not even that he was near there," said Smith's lawyer, Michael S. Evans. "There will be no evidence of a fingerprint, a palm print, a footprint of Mr. Smith at that crime scene. There will be no DNA."

Thomas Gordon, Honest's lawyer, told jurors that the gun used to kill Ponce was never recovered and that there were no witnesses to the crime. Further, video surveillance footage that prosecutors claimed to have implicated his client was destroyed, Gordon said.

"Basically, the people's case is based on Mr. Honest's cellphone, and that's where we get to the end of the facts," Gordon said.

Testimony in the case is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

07-05-2012, 12:49 PM

A former Oakland Raiders defensive end and first-round draft pick, who was awaiting retrial for a 2008 murder, has been charged in three additional cold case murders :eek:.

Anthony Wayne Smith, who played with the team from 1991 to 1998, has been accused in a criminal complaint filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court of killing brothers Kevin and Ricky Nettles in November 1999, and killing Dennis Henderson in June 2001, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Smith, 45, also faces special circumstances allegations of torture and multiple murders, several counts of kidnapping and robbery, according to the complaint.

11-10-2014, 02:23 PM

Prosecutors: No Death Penalty For Former Raider Accused In 4 Murders
November 10, 2014 1:33 PM


LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Prosecutors will not seek the death penalty for former Raiders defensive end Anthony Wayne Smith, who is charged in four killings nearly a decade apart, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Monday.

Jurors deadlocked 8-4 in April 2012, unable to agree on whether Smith had murdered 31-year-old Maurilio Ponce on Oct. 7, 2008. Ponce was found shot to death near the Antelope Valley poppy fields, about 11 miles west of Lancaster.

While awaiting retrial, Smith was charged in three more murders. The 47-year-old ex-pro football player, who has been held without bail since his arrest in March of 2011, was also accused in the Nov. 10, 1999 shooting deaths of Kevin and Ricky Nettles and the June 25, 2001 stabbing death of Dennis Henderson.

The charges include the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders, torture and kidnapping involving the Nettles brothers and Henderson and the robbery of Ponce.

The Nettles brothers were found with their heads wrapped in duct tape and Ricky’s stomach was burned in the shape of a clothes iron, according to testimony at Smith’s latest preliminary hearing.

In the 2012 trial, the jury found Smith’s co-defendant, Dewann Wesley White, guilty of first-degree murder. White was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

The conviction of a second co-defendant, Charles Eric Honest, was reversed by a state appeals court panel in September due to insufficient evidence.

Smith is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 14 for a pretrial hearing on the four murder counts. Based on the prosecutor’s decision, he will face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

11-05-2015, 04:04 PM

Former Raiders player Anthony Wayne Smith convicted on 3 counts of murder



Former Raiders defensive end Anthony Wayne Smith was convicted Thursday of the murders of three people, but a mistrial was declared by a Southern California jury on a fourth count.

Anthony Wayne Smith, 48, is accused of killing four men over the span of nearly a decade. Smith is convicted of shooting and killing Kevin and Ricky Nettles on Nov. 10, 1999, and stabbing Dennis Henderson to death on June 25, 2001.

Jurors deadlocked over the Oct. 7, 2008, shooting death of Maurilio Ponce, which led to the declaration of a mistrial.

Although jurors also found true special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and torture, prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.

The sentencing, along with a hearing on whether prosecutors plan to re-try Smith for the Ponce killing, was set for Dec. 21.

01-23-2016, 10:24 AM

Former Raiders Player Sentenced to Life Without Parole for 3 Murders
Posted 9:23 PM, January 22, 2016

A former defensive lineman with the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders was sentenced Friday to three consecutive terms of life without parole for the murders of three people.

Anthony Wayne Smith, 48, was convicted in November of three counts of first-degree murder in the 1999 murders of brothers Ricky and Kevin Nettles and the 2001 murder of Dennis Henderson, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.