ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Lawyers agreed Thursday to a May trial date for a Maryland man facing hate crime charges after authorities said he fatally shot three Latino men and wounded three other people during a parking dispute earlier this year in the state's capital city.
Charles Robert Smith, who remains in custody, appeared in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court wearing green detention center clothing. He told Administrative Judge Donna Schaeffer that he understood his decision to waive his right to trial in 180 days.
Attorneys agreed to begin jury selection for next year's trial on May 31, with the trial expected to run until June 17. They also set aside two days in April for motions hearings before the trial.
The shooting happened on the evening of June 11 during a birthday party when a dispute broke out over a parking issue on a residential street.
The three who were shot to death — 27-year-old Mario Mireles, his 55-year-old father Nicholas Mireles and 25-year-old Christian Segovia — were Latino. Smith, 44, is white. The Mireles and Smith families had lived on the same street for years and had a history of disputes, with Shirley Smith, the defendant's mother, having been previously accused of using racial slurs against Mario Mireles, according to court records.
Mario Mireles went to the Smiths' home to talk about the parking dispute and was arguing with Shirley Smith, who had called in a parking complaint, when her son Charles Smith returned home and confronted him, according to police charging documents.
Smith has been indicted on 42 counts, including three counts of first-degree murder and hate crimes. Smith surrendered when the police arrived at his house on the night of the shooting.