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Jennings County prosecutors: Indiana murder suspect's 'hit list' included a judge and retired cop

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Posted at 3:22 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 15:22:29-04

NORTH VERNON — A North Vernon man accused of stabbing a man to death had a "hit list" that included the names of his alleged victim, a retired police officer and a judge, Jennings County prosecutors say.

William Steven “Billy” Smith, 45, was charged with murder, arson, robbery and other crimes in the death of Robert D. Boyd, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Jennings Circuit Court.

Prosecutors say Smith stabbed Boyd to death then tried to set fire to Boyd's North Vernon home on May 11. Smith had been living in the home and argued with Boyd earlier that day, according to the affidavit.

Another man who lived in the home told police he returned form walking the dog to find the front door locked, according to affidavit. He heard sounds from inside hte home but no one answered the door bell.

Smith suddenly opened the door and left, carrying a packed duffle bag that the roommate knew belonged to Boyd. The roommate entered the home and stamped out a fire burning near Boyd's body before calling police.

Officers found Smith later that day walking along some railroad tracks and arrested him after a short foot chase, the affidavit said.

During the investigation, prosecutors said Smith's ex-wife contacted police and turned over Smith's "hit list" naming seven people he wanted to kill.

Robert Boyd was on the list, prosecutors said; so were the names of a judge, a retired police officer, Smith's ex-wife and others.

Records show Smith was held in the Jennings County Jail on charges of murder, robbery, arson, resisting law enforcement, possession of methamphetamine and obstruction of justice.