HOUSTON – Ryan Mitchell Smith, who is accused of stabbing a K-9 officer with a butcher knife and killing his father with a dumbbell, appeared before a judge Friday.
The 26-year-old had a laundry list of charges racked up within a week, with the most recent being the murder of his father, Cameron Smith, who suffered a brutal death less than one day after his son was released on bond, as outlined in a court document.
During Friday’s court appearance, a prosecutor explained to the judge that bonds for Smith’s robbery case and the K-9 case - which were granted and revoked in just under seven days -- were $25,000 each and the first evading charge was $100,000.
Due to those offenses, the prosecutor requested higher bond amounts for the newest charges. At the conclusion, the judge decided to set bond at $2 million for Smith’s murder charge and $50,000 for the latest evading charge, but Smith could not be freed at the time due to the prior revocation.
The judge also approved for his current lawyer, Ralph Manginello, to be removed from his case. That request came from both Manginello and Smith because the two had a prior cordial relationship, as stated in court.
The judge informed Smith he would be appointing a new attorney to act on his behalf until Smith, if he decides to do so, hires one.
Smith’s movements kept multiple law enforcement agencies in Harris and Waller counties busy within a short time span.
The disturbing chain of events started when Smith, according to HPD, robbed and carjacked two men in the 900 block of Memorial Heights Drive. He then made his way to an H-E-B on Washington Avenue where he reportedly stole a phone charger. Police established a perimeter at an apartment complex on I-10 and Yale Street and believed they had him cornered.
“He managed to jump buildings, apartment complex parking garages and made his way back out onto a street,” HPD Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite said. “And that’s where our K-9 officer and other officers found him again and there was a foot chase.”
K-9 Officer Nate, a 4-year-old old Belgium Malinois, was deployed and caught up with Smith, who was armed with a butcher knife and stabbed the dog, police said. Nate, who was rushed to the veterinarian by his handler, Officer Paul Foster, had emergency surgery and was released to recover at home with his partner.
Smith was taken into custody at that time and charged with evading arrest, robbery with bodily injury, and interference with a police service animal.
Smith’s family bonded him out, and he went home to his father. The situation took a deadly turn from there.
Smith was scheduled to appear in the 232nd District Court for his preliminary court hearing, but was not present.
Family members grew concerned after not hearing from Smith’s father and went to check on him at his house in the 14700 block of Carolcrest.
There was no sign of the dad, but family members noticed his cellphone was left behind, which they felt was unusual and shared their concerns.
When detectives went to check things out, they saw Smith behind the wheel of his father’s GMC Denali pickup truck and called for backup.
Detectives said Smith was operating the truck with no headlights at night, nor had any front or rear license plates, and attempted to pull him over, but he refused to stop. Smith led officers on a chase for about 10 miles, lasting about 15 minutes, before crashing in the Memorial Park area and took off on foot, managing to escape.
Inside the vehicle, police found a loaded hunting rifle and a black Labrador Retriever. In the bed of the truck, they found a tent and a 15-pound metal dumbbell with blood on it, documents state.
Detectives then went back to the father’s home to investigate. That is when they found the man’s body hidden in the garage. Authorities said he died from head trauma.
The son’s time on the run came to an end around 1:50 p.m. when a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper found him walking along the side of the road on Highway 159 near Bellville, Texas.
Smith was taken into custody without incident.
According to documents, Smith confessed to killing his father. He told investigators he distracted his dad, struck him in the head three times with the weight, then tied a plastic bag around his bloody head.
It has been requested that Smith undergo a psychiatric competency exam.