A Bowling Green man accused of taking part in a murder-for-hire plot received a trial date for one of five criminal cases pending against him.
Jeffery Smith, 47, appeared Tuesday in Warren Circuit Court for a pretrial conference.
Smith is charged with murder, tampering with physical evidence and receiving stolen property (firearm) in the death of Smajo Miropija, 49, of Bowling Green, whose badly burned body was found Feb. 9 at a building on Porter Pike.
Smith is accused of strangling Miropija at the request of Antonio Wilson, who had dated Miropija’s daughter and had been involved in an altercation with Miropija shortly before his death, according to court records.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Smith said he and his attorney, Dennie Hardin, had been unable to resolve the four criminal cases against him that are not directly connected to the slaying.
Warren Circuit Judge John Grise set a July 14 trial date for one of the cases accusing Smith of possessing a weapon as a convicted felon.
Aside from the charges in the murder case, Smith is charged in separate indictments with four counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, two counts of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, resisting arrest, menacing, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Smith was arrested Feb. 26 by Kentucky State Police in an unrelated case after a trooper at a traffic checkpoint detected an odor of marijuana coming from Smith’s vehicle.
Wilson emerged as a suspect in Miropija’s death, which the Bowling Green Police Department investigated.
Detectives attempted to interview Wilson a day after the body was found, but he declined to speak with police and said he would meet at a later date.
Detectives learned Feb. 11 that Wilson had booked a flight to the Philippines, according to city police.
Wilson was arrested the following month in the Philippines and was brought back to the United States during the summer.
Wilson is also charged with complicity to commit murder, tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.