AST gave suspect a ride home hours before murder
A spokesperson for the Alaska Dept. of Public Safety confirms an Alaska State Trooper drove 38-year-old Anthony Smith home late-New Year's Eve, just hours before the Wasilla man allegedly killed his wife, 37-year-old Amy Smith.
A statement released Friday by DPS commissioner Walt Monegan outlined troopers' first interaction with Anthony Smith on the night of Dec. 31:
"An Alaska State Trooper did conduct a traffic stop on Mr. Smith late on New Year’s Eve. Mr. Smith successfully completed the requested field sobriety tests, so the decision not to arrest was made and that was relayed to him. Concerned about the level of impairment the trooper then additionally requested a voluntary field breathe test and Mr. Smith complied. The Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) results are not admissible in court as to the level of intoxication, so Mr. Smith was provided a ride home. Such practices are discretionary and within our policy," Monegan wrote.
Just before 2 o'clock on New Year's morning, following Anthony's arrival at the home, Amy called 911 saying her husband was being aggressive.
Troopers then returned to the home for the second time that night.
Court documents show Amy told responding troopers she was afraid of Anthony because he was "chest bumping" her, and in the past when he exhibited this behavior, he had become violent, physically assaulted her and she was afraid he would become violent again. She said that she didn't want Anthony arrested, she just wanted him to "chill out."
Alaska law requires law enforcement officers to arrest persons who the officer has probable cause to believe have committed domestic violence or have violated a domestic violence protective order.
In this case, officers left without making an arrest.
Just before 5 a.m., troopers received another call to the home, this time from Anthony, saying his wife had fallen down the stairs. By 5:30 a.m, Amy was pronounced dead. An autopsy later revealed she was strangled.
While Anthony now faces murder charges for her death, the DPS Office of Professional Standards has initiated an internal investigation into potential violations of internal policies by the troopers involved.
"That investigation is ongoing and may take several weeks to conclude. Since this investigation is about policy violations, these are personnel matters that are confidential by law," Monegan wrote in the statement.
According to a police report, Amy had packed her belongings at the home and intended to leave Anthony.
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