The trial of 47-year-old Teddy K. Smith of Kiana came to a conclusion on Tuesday with the jury finding Smith “guilty” of two counts of Attempted Murder, two counts of Robbery I, two counts of of Theft II and two counts of Assault I after fours of deliberation.
The trail that led to the courtroom and the trial that began on November 17th started in the community of Kiana on September 7th of 2012 when the Alaska State Troopers in Kotzebue were notified of the suspicious death of 74-year-old Dolly Smith.
When first responders in the community, as well as community members went to Dolly’s home, Teddy, who had been drinking, fired a weapon towards the gathering villagers then fled the scene.
Troopers continued their investigation of Dolly’s death and her remains were sent to Anchorage for autopsy.
Warrants were issued for Teddy for Assault for the incident outside the home. The community went into lock-down for 24 hours as troopers searched for Teddy.
Then, on September 19th, troopers were notified that two hunters floating down the Squirrel River had been shot when they arrived at a cabin 40 miles upriver from Kiana.
When the two men went to the cabin, they found that another man was staying there. Sometime after they made contact with the man, an altercation occurred and both of the men were shot. One of the men was shot in the chest and the other was wounded in the arm.
The two men, brothers, 46-year-old Paul James Buckel, resident of Kotzebue and 47-year-old Fostoria, Michigan resident Charles Buckel were able to identify their shooter. They positively identified 45-year-old Kiana resident Teddy Smith.
After shooting the two men, Smith took the men’s boat, along with their hunting equipment, and began floating down the river.
After they identified T.Smith as the shooter, troopers began an air and ground search of the area. Aircraft from the troopers as well as wildlife enforcement spotted the men’s stolen raft the next day about thirty five miles upriver from Kiana.
Authorities brought in additional personnel into Kiana that very day. Twelve troopers, including five from the Northern Special Emergency Reaction Team, were staged there. Then, the following day the officers were transported by boat and aircraft to a location approximately 16 miles upriver from the community. Positioned there between Smith and Kiana, they waited for the suspect to come to them.
When he did, Smith was arrested without incident. he was transported to the Kotzebue Jail and was arraigned with his bail set at $500,000. Smith remained incarcerated until his trial last week.
Smith had a promising career as a native actor before the incident in Kiana and was well-known for his role as a protective father in the award-winning film “On the Ice,” that was filmed on location in Barrow.
The trooper investigation into the death of Dolly Smith would find that there was no evidence of foul play.
Smith will be sentenced on April 29th, 2015.