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Early 2018 Charles homicide remains on docket


Tiffany Jade Smith

La Plata, MD - A Charles County woman who was charged and subsequently indicted in connection with the death of her live-in boyfriend last February continues to await trial in Circuit Court. The defendant, Tiffany Jade Smith, 32 of Waldorf, is charged with shooting to death Tavon Purnell Matthews last Feb. 18 at their residence. Emergency medical personnel dispatched to the couple’s home around 11:25 a.m. that day found Matthews in a bedroom suffering from a gunshot wound to his torso. He was transported to Charles Regional Medical Center in La Plata and died less than an hour after the shooting was reported.

“During scene interviews, it was learned the defendant, Tiffany Smith and (the) victim were heard involved in a heated argument in their bedroom,” stated Charles County Sheriff’s Office Detective B. Buchanan in court documents. “During the argument, gunshots were heard after which the defendant asked for help and said that the victim was bleeding.” Buchanan stated that Smith was taken to the Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigations Division for an interview. Smith told detectives that she and Matthews “were in the bedroom alone and began arguing. The defendant admitted to taking what she believed to be a B.B. gun from the victim just prior to the shooting and having the gun in her possession. The defendant couldn’t provide details about how the victim was shot but she did say it was an accident. The defendant denied having any knowledge of the shooting at first and then stated she thought the gun was a B.B. gun before finally admitting it was a real gun she had taken from the victim. A witness on scene admitted taking the handgun from the area of the bedroom where the incident occurred and hiding the gun in the wooded area to the rear of the residence after the shooting. The witness later took detectives to the gun, which was described as a Ruger 9mm.”

Buchanan stated in court documents that Smith and Matthews had been involved in a romantic relationship for four years. Matthews, 37,(pictured, right) had a daughter and was employed with a regional contractor.

Last March a grand jury handed down a three-count indictment against Smith for one count each of first-degree murder, firearm use in a violent crime and firearm possession with a felony conviction. To date, Smith’s jury trial has been delayed twice. The case is currently scheduled to go to trial Feb. 25. Smith’s next court appearance is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 24 for a motions hearing.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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