Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rockford, IL: Katrina Smith case: Todd Smith pleads not guilty in wife's death

ROCKFORD — Todd C. Smith today entered a not guilty plea to a Winnebago County Grand Jury bill of indictment charging him with first degree murder and other crimes in the beating death Katrina Smith, his 30-year-old wife.

If convicted of the most serious charges of first degree murder in a heinous and cruel manner, he could be sentenced to life in prison. He is also charged with first degree murder while committing aggravated domestic battery, unlawful restraint and concealment of a homicide.

Wearing a red jail jumpsuit, Smith, 45, answered Judge John Truitt in a near whisper that he understood the charges against him.

They include allegations that he forced his wife into the trunk of a car on or about Oct. 22, beat her to death with a baseball bat and threw her into the Rock River, where she was discovered weeks after he reported her missing.

Family, friends and dozens of volunteers aided police in a massive search for Katrina or any evidence of her location. Her body was found Nov. 9 by an off-duty Byron firefighter fishing in the Rock River south of Byron.

Smith who had participated in the search for his wife and had made statements of concern for her, was arrested Nov. 20 for her murder. He is being held in the Winnebago County Jail on $4 million bond, which means $400,000 would need to be posted for his release.

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