New charges have Anthony Smith facing death penalty

Anthony Smith was already facing a retrial for murder. The former Raider defensive end was on trial for murder earlier this year but a jury failed to reach a verdict, resulting in a mistrial. Now, as the jury is being selected for the retrial, he is being brought up on three additional murder charges.

Smith was on trial, accused of being involved in the killing of 31-year-old mechanic Maurilio Ponce on Oct. 7, 2008 in Lancaster California. According to the report by Ann M Simmons of the LA Times, the jury deliberated for nine days and ended up split 8 to 4 for a guilty verdict.

He was one of three defendants in the case who were being charged with the murder of Ponce. One of the defendants was found guilty of second degree murder while Smith and the other defendant remain in custody.

Smith's lawyers now have three additional murder charges to defend: Those of Kevin and Ricky Nettles in November of 1999 and that of Dennis Henderson in June of 2001. The indictment alleges Smith not only had a hand in the murders, but that torture was involved.

Along with the murder charges, Smith is also being charged with kidnapping of all three victims as well as robbery. The Nettles brothers were each shot, while Henderson was beaten and stabbed

Smith already faced life in prison if convicted of the murder of Ponce. Now, not only have the odds of a conviction risen considerably, but he is now a candidate for the death penalty.

Anthony Smith was drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders with the 11th overall pick in the 1990 draft. He played seven seasons in the NFL, all for the Raiders. He averaged 12 sacks per season over his first three seasons as a situational pass rusher. He became a full time starter in 1994 and his sack production went down. He averaged 6.5 sacks over three of his final four seasons in the NFL. The North Carolina native, stayed in Los Angeles after retirement in 1997.

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