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Man Confessed to Killing Mom after He's Seen Dumping Her Clothes: Prosecutor

Shane Smith admitted to his brother's girlfriend that he choked his mother to death, Will County Assistant State's Attorney Mary Fillipitch said.

Shane Smith. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Office
Shane Smith. Credit: Will County Sheriff's Office
Shane Smith told his brother's girlfriend he murdered his mother after the woman saw him dumping women's clothes into the Des Plaines River and asked him about it, a Will County prosecutor said.

Assistant State's Attorney Mary Fillipitch disclosed the confession in court Monday when asking Will County Judge Roger Rickmon to set Smith's bond at $5 million, which was granted.

Smith, 32, was arrested Saturday and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his mother, Joan M. Smith, 59, who was reported missing Oct. 13 and whose body was found in the Des Plaines River four days later.

According to Fillipitch, Shane Smith choked his mother to death before discarding her body in the river.

Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton confirmed that the murder occurred in the home the pair shared at 1610 Black Road, based on evidence recovered from the house when searched by police.

Benton said Smith has not spoken to investigators, but that witness accounts provided the grounds to obtain a search warrant and then arrest Smith.

Smith's brother is not believed to have been involved in the murder, Fillipitch said.

According to the prosecutor, Smith invited his brother's girlfriend to go fishing with him along the Des Plaines and it was during that outing that she saw him throwing away clothes. Smith admitted the clothing belonged to his mother and that he had killed her, Fillipitch said.

It's not been disclosed if others were with them during the fishing trip or if Smith admitted the killing to anyone else.

Benton declined to discuss the details of the case other than to say that many people, including Smith's brother and the brother's girlfriend, had been interviewed by police. He also declined to divulge any possible motive for the murder.

Fillipitch did note that Shane Smith threatened his brother's girlfriend to prevent her from going to the police. As part of the terms of his bond, he cannot have any contact with the woman should he be able to raise the $500,000 needed to free him from jail pending his trial.

Smith, who attended the bond hearing via a video camera set up at the Will County jail, did not display any emotion during the hearing and spoke only once to clarify that the woman to whom he allegedly confessed was not his girlfriend.

"Your honor, I'm married," he said.

Smith has served at least two prison terms previously -- an eight-year sentence in 2008 for aggravated battery and a 15-year sentence in 2000 for robbery, Fillipitch said. He's also been convicted of several other crimes, including battery and criminal trespass to vehicles, she said.
Kdm October 21, 2013 at 09:03 PM
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