Warrants drawn in old case

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 7, 2007

MURFREESBORO – Determined police work and DNA evidence has led to a suspect in a year-old case involving a home invasion here.

According to Murfreesboro Police Chief Darrell Rowe, warrants have been issued to the Goldsboro Police Department for Gerald Smith, 48, whose last known address was Lewistown Road in Murfreesboro.

Smith is currently serving time at the Neuse Correctional Institute on an unrelated matter.

Rowe said the warrants are for first degree burglary, attempted first degree rape, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of communicating threats.

The charges are in relation to a home invasion that occurred on July 26, 2006 where Smith allegedly broke into a home on Main Street and assaulted the couple residing there.

The victims discovered a man in their home after being awakened in their second floor bedroom. Hearing noises on the floor below, the husband went to investigate and found the subject on the stairway leading to the second floor.

After exchanging words with the male victim, the intruder forced his way into the upstairs bedroom.

Trying to protect his wife as the suspect lunged at her, the husband struggled with the intruder and noticed he was wielding a knife. The male victim then instructed his wife to leave the home for her own safety.

Instead, the wife grabbed a pair of scissors from a sewing kit and assisted her husband in the struggle as she stabbed the home invader approximately three-to-five times.

The wife then made her way out of the home attempting to get help. The suspect also fled the scene and was pursued by the husband who soon lost sight of him.

Rowe said while the wife was unharmed, the husband did receive gashes to his forehead and arms.

A substantial amount of DNA evidence was collected from the crime scene, which more than a year later was matched to Smith’s DNA.

Rowe thanked the officers involved on the case, including Murfreesboro Police Captain Chris Sumner.

“This was a very serious and frightening crime and hopefully it will let the criminal element know we’re not going to give up (on old cases),” said Rowe.