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Independence man charged in wife’s death

Mike Genet
mike.genet@examiner.net

An Independence man has been charged with fatally shooting his wife late Sunday at their home.

Jackson County prosecutors charged Ryan Smith, 41, with second-degree murder and armed criminal action for the death of 52-year-old Daina Smith. Prosecutors asked that he be held on $100,000 bond.

According to court documents, officers were sent to the Smiths’ house in the 3600 block of South Greenwich Lane, just east of Noland Road, on reports that a man had shot his wife. Outside the house, a man pointing at a Jeep yelled, “That man shot my mom.” Police were able to quickly stop the vehicle, and the driver, Ryan Smith, told police a stranger had shot his wife. Inside the home, police found Daina Smith dead with a gunshot wound to the head.

One of Daina Smith’s sons said a family friend called him saying Ryan Smith had called him and said something bad had happened with this mom. That son then called Ryan Smith, who immediately answered and said, “I shot your mom in the head. I need help.”

When the son tried to call his mother without success, the son’s wife called 911. Both sons said their mother had been unhappy with Ryan Smith’s drinking and was considering a divorce.

Another witness out of town on work told police by phone that Ryan Smith, whom he described as a bad alcoholic, had called him and said, “I just killed my wife” and “I (screwed) up” repeatedly.

According to court documents, Ryan Smith told police detention personnel that he was suicidal and traumatized after watching his wife kill herself. The medical examiner’s office determined Daina Smith’s wound came from the left side. Her son said she was right-handed and had never been suicidal. Ryan Smith later refused to talk with police.

Ryan Smith was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon in 2007 in a domestic violence incident where his wife was listed as the victim. He was given probation.