Ernest Smith was gunned down outside his New Orleans home in spring of 2006. Although it took more than seven years for police to arrest and charge a suspect in the crime, they finally apprehended the deceased man’s widow who was then charged in his death after being on police radar for quite some time. The Associated Press shares the notes of the detective on the case in the early stages of the investigation in regard to the victim’s widow, Emma Smith.
“Please be advised that the beneficiary, Emma Smith, wife of the deceased, cannot be ruled out as a suspect in the death of Ernest Smith.”
Emma Smith was finally arrested for the death of her second husband in 2013. By this point the suspect had the name Emma Raine after her third marriage, but was a widow for the third time following her husband James Raine having been shot to death at their home in Pearl River County, Mississippi, back in 2011. Although Emma was out of town at the time of Raine’s death, authorities were still suspicious of her in the death of her third husband as well.
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Sheriff David Allison of Pearl River County spoke on the case of the death of the third husband in 2015.
“She is a suspect in that James Raine case. And through investigating that case we were able to get some information that New Orleans needed and passed it on to them.”
James Raine’s death remains unsolved, but Emma Raine is now on trial on a second-degree murder charge in 38-year-old Ernest Smith’s death.
For the opening day of testimony in the trial for the murder of Ernest Smith, prosecution seeks to prove that Emma and now-deceased husband James Raine plotted and arranged the murder of Ernest Smith at the hands of Raine’s adoptive brother, Alfred Everette. Everette was then convicted of second-degree murder in the case in December 2014. The Associated Press shares details about Everette’s demeanor following conviction, and his refusal to give a testimony as a witness.
“There was a tense moment when the convicted trigger-man entered the courtroom in shackles but refused to go near the witness stand. Everette is appealing his conviction in Smith’s death and refused to testify despite a court order that he appear and despite a grant of immunity that would prevent his testimony from being used against him in his appeal.”
However, Enoch Raine, the brother of James Raine and Everette, spoke on the witness stand and shared that after Raine’s murder in 2011, Everette had broken down and confessed to having killed Smith years prior at the urging of James and Emma. Enoch also shared that he and his uncle insisted that Everette turn himself in, but he never took their advice and Enoch admitted to calling a “cold case” detective in New Orleans back in 2012, which then led to the arrest of Emma.
Defense attorney Martin Regan spoke about the case.
“This case is about greed and money, infidelity and a guy named James,” He stressed that Emma Raine has never been arrested in James Raine’s death. “Who kills James Raine? Was it another jealous husband?”
As for Emma’s first husband’s death, there are suspicions that also lead back to her. The AP notes that it is unclear as to whether jurors will hear testimony about the death of Leroy Evans, Emma Raine’s first husband, who died in hospital back in 1994. Evans passed from injuries incurred after being hit by a car. No arrests were ever reported in the case, yet, as noted, the death was also called suspicious by prosecution.
The trial for the death of Smith is scheduled to go until Monday.
[Photo by Spencer Weiner/Getty Images]