INDIANAPOLIS — Accused triple killer Caden Smith appeared before Marion Superior Judge Jennifer Prinz Harrison as his attorney argued in vain that the teenager did not violate the judge’s orders when he was caught allegedly dealing drugs and guns on social media after she trusted him to be free on pre-trial release.
On October 14th, the judge released Smith from custody pending an appellate court ruling on whether the murder weapon IMPD detectives said they found in his house should be permitted into evidence in a trial where he’s charged with killing three friends he invited to look at a gun in a vacant lot off South Meridian Street near I-465 over the course of two nights a year earlier.
On October 15th, the day after his release with a GPS electronic monitor attached to his ankle, Smith was starting back in business on Snapchat, said detectives, advertising marijuana, Psilocybin mushrooms and gun accessories over social media while posting photographs of himself holding firearms.
When investigators raided a home where Smith was staying on the southeast side on November 23rd, they claimed they found drugs and guns and the teenager was in violation of the judge’s order to, “have no firearms, deadly weapons or ammunition in his possession.”
”They’re gonna have to prove that he possessed them, not just in some house where there happened to be guns that were not out in the open,” said Smith’s attorney David Hennessy after he challenged the validity of the probable cause detectives cited in arresting his client. ”If you look at what they allege, it was, he was in this other person’s house and there were guns in there, but that’s not prohibited under any order of the court. He can’t possess them and that’s different.”
Smith was arrested along with Anthony Contreras, the occupant of the home, who also faces marijuana charges but denied knowing his friend had guns in the house.
“I don’t know, I really don’t know what to tell you,” Contreras told FOX59 News during an interview on his front porch a day after he bonded out of jail.
“So you had a guy inside your house posing with guns and dope and supposedly on Snapchat, cuz I’ve seen the Probable Cause,” FOX59’s Russ McQuaid told Contreras, “doing deals from inside this house, but you didn’t know what he was doing inside your house?”
“He wasn’t doing none of that over here,” said Contreras. “He would just come over, he was a close friend, he would just come over and chill and that’s it.”
Despite being out of jail less than a month when he started showing up and allegedly selling drugs and brandishing guns on social media, Smith’s legal troubles were apparently never topic of much of a conversation inside Contreras’ house.
“You had a dude coming over here and visiting you occasionally who was jacked up on triple murder charges,” McQuaid told Contreras. “That wasn’t something you were asking questions about?”
“I knew he got charged with that,” said Contreras. “Just like everyone else, I seen it on the news, and whatever they said about his case, but that’s all. I didn’t ask him about it. Its not my business.
”I knew he knew not to get in trouble and do that but I can’t tell you what he was doing because I’m not him,” Contreras continued. “I don’t know, but he was a friend of mine who I actually met through another friend of mine but we was close friends.
Evelyn Nelson, the mother of one of the murdered teens, Joseph Thomas, attended Smith’s violation hearing.
”He has not learned his lesson nor will he ever. I believe he would never learn his lesson. He’s probably still sitting up in jail right now thinking about what he can do if he gets another chance to be out,” she said. ”He gets out and he goes on Snapchat and he talks about this, showing pictures and everything like that, who does that? Nobody but a person who does not care, does not have any remorse for a human being.”
Smith is accused of committing the murders while he was sixteen years old, though he has been charged in Superior Court.
Police arrested him most recently on the morning of his 18th birthday, and while he at first told investigators they couldn’t talk with him as he was still a minor, as soon as officers reminded him of what day it was, they say he immediately asked for an attorney.
”I said I gotta tell you, he’s going to do something on his birthday,” Nelson remembered thinking when Smith was released from jail in October, “and sure enough he did.”
Smith is being held without bond, however, he is set to be released on a $30,000 surety bond on December 9th unless prosecutors can convince the judge that he is a danger to commit more violations if she sets him free again.