Coach Corey Smith Miami high school football coach shot dead by teen nephew Charles Alexander and robbed of $7K. Teen had troubled mental history.
Charles Alexander, who is said to have a history of mental illness, has been charged with second-degree murder and armed grand theft in the killing of 46-year-old Coach Corey Smith on Monday.
Prosecutors in Miami-Dade County plan to charge him as an adult, the Miami Herald reported.
Alexander was staying at Smith’s home in West Little River when he used the football coach’s own 9mm Beretta handgun and shot Smith dead in a den, according to police.
During a hearing in Miami-Dade juvenile court on Thursday, a judge ordered Alexander be held in secure detention.
Police were called to Smith’s home after at least three gunshots were heard by neighbors.
When investigators interviewed the teen, he claimed he was in the bathroom at the time of the shooting and had found Smith’s body, CBS Miami reported.
Investigators said Alexander provided inconsistent statements during questioning. A search of the house uncovered ‘six FC 9mm Luger spent shell casings and additional firearms evidence. Also, a large sum of U.S. currency was discovered, bundled with rubber bands and concealed among the defendant’s personal belongings.’
The recovered sum of money totaled $7,450.
After being interviewed for several hours by the Miami-Dade Police Department, Alexander was allowed to go home.
Surveillance from a neighbor’s home showed that Alexander was the only other person home at the time, police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta told reporters.
Two days later, Alexander’s mother called the police and asked to speak to them.
Teen suspect was son of convicted felon killed in high profile carjacking incident last year
According to investigators, she was ‘in fear of the defendant’ and said that her son ‘confessed to her that he had killed his uncle.’
The police arrest report indicated that the murder weapon was found in a trash can outside their home.
Of note, Charles Alexander is the son of 41-year-old Lamar Alexander, the convicted felon who was shot and killed after carjacking a UPS truck and leading police on a high-speed chase last November.
Alexander and another ex-con who took part in the armed robbery, Ronnie Jerome Hill, 41, were killed.
The UPS driver they took hostage, Frank Ordonez, 27, and another motorist who happened to be in the area, Richard Cutshaw, 70, were also killed.
Corey Smith and Lamar Alexander were technically cousins, but they were so close growing up that they were seen as brothers.
South Florida HS coaching community suffered an extremely tough loss.
Miami High head football coach Corey Smith passed away this morning. pic.twitter.com/6kVx8VvFJY
— J.T. Wilcox (@JTWilcoxSports) September 21, 2020
Alexander’s son, Charles, was thus considered Smith’s nephew.
Smith’s loss is a blow to the community, which knew him as the head coach of the Miami Senior High School football team CBS Miami reports.
‘In life, you gotta make better decisions,’ Smith said of Lamar Alexander the day after the hostage shootout.
‘We weren’t raised like that. I love my brother, but he’s been making bad decisions his whole life.’
Relatives told the Miami Herald that Corey Smith hadn’t seen his nephew since his father was killed.
‘He asked to come over,’ Corey’s wife, Amina Smith, said.
‘We hadn’t seen him since his dad passed. Corey picked him up Sunday night and he spent the night.
‘I left to go to work.’
Charles Alexander has had previous run-ins with the law.
RIP Coach Corey Smith 🙏🏾🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/7RtPZFnZIB
— Brandon Harris Sr. (@HarrisNOFLYZONE) September 21, 2020
Falling through the cracks of the system
In May 2018, the teen boy was arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat at a middle school in Allapattah.
Investigators said school administrators received ‘numerous phone calls’ stating that a bomb would be detonated unless the school was evacuated.
The phone calls were traced to a phone on campus. Charles Alexander and two others were arrested.
The case which was brought before juvenile court, stalled due to mental health problems.
Alexander was four times declared incompetent to stand trial.
‘There are many juveniles who also suffer from early childhood trauma, learning deficiencies, and mental illness and the criminal justice system, can no longer afford to allow them to fall through the cracks,’ Alexander’s attorney, Rod Vereen, told the Herald.
‘If the allegations are proven true, that my client committed this unfortunate crime, then here’s a prime example of the system failing this child.
‘Should he have been involuntary committed over the past couple of years, so he would not have been a danger to the community?
‘Coach Smith would still be alive today, right?
‘If the facts are true, who failed whom?’
A hearing was set for October 15 for a judge to decide if Alexander will be tried as an adult or a juvenile.