Warm Springs man charged with murder
Ray Smith Sr. is accused of shooting another man in the face with a shotgunNews Editor
March 19, 2003 — A man who recently moved to Warm Springs was found shot to death Friday, and soon after tribal police took into custody the suspect accused of pulling the trigger.
Ray Wesley Smith Sr., 29, of Warm Springs, is accused of killing Jaime Prieto-Muriel, who was pronounced dead at Mountain View Hospital Friday. He was 26.
The incident occurred just after 10 p.m. Smith, accompanied by a Presbyterian pastor, surrendered to Warm Springs Police a few hours later, investigators said.
Smith has been transported to Portland, where he is in federal custody at a Multnomah County correctional facility. On Monday, he was arraigned on a criminal complaint of second-degree murder in U.S. District Court, which has jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed on tribal land.
If convicted, Smith could face life in prison, U.S. Attorney Bill Williams said. He is set to reappear in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing before Federal Magistrate Dennis Hubel.
The incident occurred in a roadway in front of 4114 Miller Heights in Warm Springs. Witnesses were present and saw the two men arguing before Prieto-Muriel was shot in the face with a 12-guage shotgun, Warm Springs Police Spokesman Robert Medina said.
"We do know that alcohol was a strong factor," Medina said.
Smith fled the scene and dumped the weapon behind his home before approaching the pastor to turn himself in, Medina said.
Prieto-Muriel was unresponsive when officers found him. He had moved to Warm Springs from Salem about a month ago to live with his girlfriend, who is a tribal member, Medina said.
An autopsy was performed Monday. Medina said Smith and Prieto-Muriel weren't friends, but may have been acquaintances.
The case is being investigated by Warm Springs detectives and the FBI.