Man pleads guilty to assault with intent to murder his son
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IDAHO FALLS — A man who said several times that he planned to murder his son pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in Bonneville County.
Dale Ivan Smith, 80, entered an Alford plea for felony assault with the intent to commit murder. The original attempted murder charge was amended per a plea agreement. First-degree stalking, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a destructive device were all dismissed.
An Alford plea is a guilty plea where the defendant acknowledges a jury would most likely find them guilty based on evidence but maintains their innocence.
During the hearing, Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Clark presented statements from Smith about wanting to kill his son, Bryan Smith, as evidence that would have been used during a trial.
“Those statements would include ‘turn Bryan into a vegetable,’ and ‘there was a contract out on him,'” Clark said. “Another threat where he stated was ‘to put him in a damn box,’ ‘may come over to blow his f****** head off myself,’ and ‘if it’s the last thing I ever do in my life I will suck the life out of him.'”
When Smith was first arrested in 2017 he was found with a letter to his wife, who is living with Bryan. In the letter, Smith apologizes to his wife because “something had to be done” to Bryan.
Smith said he had written that letter a year prior and had planned to destroy it.
“I had talked to my wife about it and she told me, ‘Bryan has separated us and we will never see each other again,’ but she said, ‘If you kill him, then I’ll lose you in the Celestial Kingdom,'” Smith said.
Smith explained that he didn’t plan to kill Bryan the night he showed up at his son’s house with a rifle and explosives but that he just wanted “to scare him.”
Smith is scheduled for sentencing November 28. He is facing up to 15 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.