Man received ‘signal’ to kill relative

Duane Smith Jr., 32, of Glenwood City, Wisconsin. [Image credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office]


32-year-old Duane Smith Jr told investigators that he had been hearing mental signals last Friday before he attacked a 77-year-old relative.


According to WCCO, the criminal complaint details Smith's account that earlier in the day, he had been hunting for a man he believed was molesting children.  Smith recounted that he ha taken a friends vehicle and drove to a location about 15-miles north before he began to enter trailers, following the mental signals, seeking the man.


When he failed to locate the individual, he told investigators that he believed he had failed the mission and would soon be "released."


He felt prompted to say goodbye to his family and so, headed towards his grandmother's home.  On the way, he allegedly felt prompted to see his 77-year-old granduncle.


Smith spent time assisting the man with some chores before he reported that he "received a signal" to kill the man.


The man asked Smith to retrieve a Pepsi from the kitchen and when Smith returned, he struck his granduncle on the head with the can.  He then began to beat the man with pieces of wood.


The man reportedly asked Smith to stop at which point Smith told him that he loved him but that he had to do it.


Seeing his granduncle was bloodied but still alive, Smith went back into the home to retrieve a knife from the kitchen and cut the man's throat in an attempt to end his life quicker.


Smith reportedly left the scene for a bit before returning to take pictures of the blood-splattered porch where the attack had taken place. It was then that he realized his granduncle was loading a shotgun inside the home.


Smith fled the scene again and reported hearing what could have been a gunshot as he was leaving.


The victim was flown to Regions Hospital.


Smith was located a short time later at his residence where he had placed several pieces of methamphetamine paraphernalia outside before officers arrived. When asked by officers, he admitted to using the drug Thursday.


At the time of the attack on his granduncle, Smith was on bail for charges of criminal damage to property and criminal trespass.  He additionally has a case pending against him in Polk County Court for an eviction.


Smith is now charged with attempted first degree intentional homicide, aggravated battery- elderly and misdemeanor bail jumping.  He remains in custody in lieu of a $100,000 cash bond.


He is due in court on October 8 for a preliminary hearing. If convicted on the charge of first degree intentional homicide he faces up to 60 years in prison.



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