HOMICIDE DEFENDANT AND GIRLFRIEND INDICTED FOR CONSPIRING TO HAVE LEAD MURDER CASE DETECTIVE AND WITNESS ASSAULTED FOR $300

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 09ZF0071


 



December 8, 2009

Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

HOMICIDE DEFENDANT AND GIRLFRIEND INDICTED FOR CONSPIRING TO HAVE LEAD MURDER CASE DETECTIVE AND WITNESS ASSAULTED FOR $300

*Defendant was in custody at the time of the solicitation for a 1988 cold case stabbing-torture murder

 

SANTA ANA – A Long Beach man previously indicted for the 1988 cold case stabbing, torture, and murder of his decade-old friend was indicted again yesterday on new charges for conspiring with his girlfriend to solicit the attack of the lead investigator in his homicide case. Paul Gentile Smith, 49, has been indicted by the grand jury on one felony count each of special circumstances murder with torture, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, attempted aggravated assault, and two felony counts of solicitation to commit aggravated assault with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. The special circumstances in this case make the defendant eligible for the death penalty. He is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment Friday, Dec. 11, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

 

Paul Smith’s co-defendant girlfriend, Tina Derae Smith, 46, Mission Viejo, has been indicted on one felony count of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison if convicted. She is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-5.

 

Circumstances of the Murder

On Oct. 24, 1988, Paul Smith is accused of murdering his long-time high school friend, 29-year-old Robert Haugen. He is accused of stabbing Haugen several times, nearly decapitating him. Paul Smith is accused of leaving Haugen’s body in the victim’s Sunset Beach apartment, setting the victim’s body and apartment on fire to destroy the evidence, and fleeing the scene. Firefighters were able to put out the fire before it completely consumed the apartment and Haugen’s body. Blood belonging to the victim and an unknown second person was collected at the scene. The case was investigated but went cold.

 

In 2007, Paul Smith was arrested in Nevada for domestic violence. His DNA was later entered into the national DNA database. In late January 2009, Paul Smith’s DNA was linked to the blood found in Haugen’s apartment after the murder. The DNA technology used to link Smith to the murder did not exist in 1988. Smith was charged with the murder and extradited back to Orange County in March 2009.

 

Circumstances of Conspiracy

In November 2009, while in custody for the murder of Haugen, Paul Smith is accused of obtaining a phone number for an undercover police investigator, whom he believed to be a contact that could be paid to assault a civilian witness, Scott M., and the lead detective assigned to his homicide case.

 

On Nov. 17, 2009, Smith is accused of calling the undercover investigator to request that he “f*** somebody up” in exchange for $300. Pau