Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

April 13, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Murder over cigarette results in 15-year sentence

A South Seattle man who shot a young woman at a bus stop last year because she refused to give his friend a cigarette was sentenced this afternoon to 15 years and four months years in prison.

King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu acknowledged Anthony H. Smith had a terrible childhood, but she said that did not excuse his actions. “You had the chance to walk away and you didn’t,” Yu said.

In a letter read by his attorney, Smith said he was “sorry from the bottom of my heart and soul.”

Smith, 26,  pleaded guilty in February to second-degree murder in the slaying of 24-year-old Sweetheart Masela Failautsu in White Center.

According to court documents, Failautsu and three friends were at a bus stop at Southwest Roxbury Street and 15th Avenue Southwest on Aug. 16, 2011, when they were approached by Smith and two other men.

One of the men asked for a cigarette, but Failautusi and her friends refused, prompting Smith to unleash a string of expletives and starting a brawl between the two groups.

Smith reportedly told Failautusi, “I’ll be right back; it’s not over,” before fleeing with the other men, court records say.

When King County sheriff’s deputies responded, Failautusi and her friends told them everything was OK and the deputies left, according to court records.

About 30 minutes after the fight, the three men returned and one of them shook hands with Failautusi, which enraged Smith, according to court records.

Smith pulled a gun and started firing, striking Failautusi in the back of the head. She collapsed and died in the middle of 15th Avenue Southwest.

The fight and shooting were captured by video surveillance cameras at nearby businesses, the records say.

A tip led deputies to identify Smith as the shooter, and he surrendered when detectives showed up at his house a few blocks from the shooting scene the following day.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop a firearm enhancement that would have added five years to Smith’s prison sentence, the records say.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: homicide, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, King County Sheriff's Office

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►