By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
Tuesday’s murder-suicide that had its tragic start in Bell County and ended with a single gunshot in a Knox County cemetery began with a cell phone call to the Kentucky State Police.
KSP Trooper Shane Jacobs, also Post 10’s public affairs officer, explained the gunman was 51-year-old Raymond Curtis Smith, of Flat Lick.
Smith happens to be a former Knox County judge/executive.
Three people were killed in Tuesday’s shooting, including the gunman.
The first two deaths were in Bell County — Michael Smith, 50, and his son, Mychael Dustin Smith, 21, were killed at their Laurel Lakes Road home near Pineville.
The third person killed was the shooter, Raymond Smith — his body was recovered from a cemetery in the Flat Lick community of Knox County.
Jacobs said Raymond Smith’s death was self-inflicted.
A fourth person, Robin Smith, 21, Mychael Smith’s sister, was also shot at the Laurel Lakes Road residence.
She says she escaped with a young nephew after her father was shot and her brother fought Raymond Smith — a move she believes saved her and her nephew’s life.
Robin Smith says she was shot in the back but hid outdoors until she saw Raymond Smith drive away.
She remains hospitalized at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, Tenn. According to Jacobs, “the last account” he had was that Robin Smith was now in stable condition.
According to Bell County 911 Dispatch Center Supervisor Linda Wyatt, their office did not receive the call from Robin Smith’s phone.
“Robin Smith dialed 9-1-1 on her cell phone and the call went directly to the Kentucky State Police,” she said.
That call came to Post 10 about 9:42 a.m.
From that scene, Robin Smith was transported to Middlesboro, and from there airlifted to UT Medical Center.
It remains unclear how law enforcement learned of Raymond Smith’s fate and location in Knox County, but he was found in Hammons Cemetery.
Mike Blevins, Knox County coroner, said no autopsy will be performed on Raymond Smith.
“There are no plans to conduct an autopsy,” Blevins said. “We found out everything we needed to know at the hospital.”
Blevins confirmed Wednesday that Raymond Smith died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Why any of the shootings ever happened remains under investigation, however, Jacobs confirmed one possible motive.
“Raymond had been dating (Robin Smith),” Jacobs said. “(But) she broke up with him about a month ago.”
Autopsies were expected to be complete on the Bell County victims Wednesday.
Raymond Smith served one term as Knox County judge/executive from 2002-2006. After he lost his seat during the 2006 re-election bid, federal agents with the FBI came in and began their investigation into a scathing audit that revealed $2.7 million in questionable expenditures.
Then in March 2008, Raymond Smith pleaded guilty to one federal charge of mail fraud for submitting false paperwork while in office — purportedly written by a county-hired contractor. Smith presented these falsified documents to cover up the fact that public works projects were not being performed by the companies purportedly represented — they were performed by companies controlled by either Smith himself or his family members.
He was sentenced to 30 months in prison for that crime.
The Associated Press contributed to the story.