A man tied to a Bowling Green homicide was brought to custody in Warren County after reportedly attempting to evade capture abroad.
Antonio Marsonel Wilson, 40, of Smiths Grove, was booked Sunday into the Warren County Regional Jail.
Wilson and Jeffery Smith, 46, of Bowling Green, are charged in an alleged murder-for-hire plot that resulted in the death of Smajo Miropija, 49, of Bowling Green, whose body was found Feb. 8 at Mega Transport at 263 Porter Pike.
Wilson is scheduled to appear Friday in Warren District Court for a preliminary hearing on a count of complicity to commit murder.
Indictments returned this year charged Wilson with complicity to commit murder, tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse.
Smith is charged with murder, tampering with physical evidence and receiving stolen property.
An arrest warrant sworn by Detective Eric Stroud of the Bowling Green Police Department said Wilson solicited, commanded or conspired with Smith to kill Miropija.
Smith’s girlfriend, Angel Cook, was present during a conversation Feb. 8 between Wilson and Smith in which she heard Wilson solicit Smith to “get someone out of their life,” the warrant said, referring to Wilson and his girlfriend.
“Jeffery Smith later admitted to Angel Cook, the afternoon of the murder, that he in fact had caused the death of Smajo Miropija that morning in exchange for payment from Antonio Wilson,” Stroud said in the warrant, adding that Miropija was strangled.
The warrant was signed March 22 by Warren District Judge Brent Potter and executed Sunday when Wilson was booked locally after being extradited from the Philippines and brought to the U.S. He initially spent time in custody in Atlanta.
Court documents detail a murder-for-hire plot, with law enforcement alleging that Wilson paid Smith to kill the father of Wilson’s girlfriend in retribution for a physical altercation between Wilson and that man.
On Feb. 9, the day after Miropija’s body was discovered, city police made contact with Wilson, who declined to speak with officers but said he would come in later that day for questioning.
After several unsuccessful attempts to contact Wilson, police learned Feb. 11 that he made an unplanned trip to Chicago the previous day and flew from there to the Philippines, with a scheduled return date of March 1, court records show.
A news release from the Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration said Wilson was arrested March 27 and described him as a “hardened and incorrigible criminal whose presence here poses a serious threat to the lives and well-being of Filipinos.”
Smith has pleaded not guilty in Warren Circuit Court to the charges against him and is scheduled to appear in court Monday for a pretrial conference.
Kentucky State Police arrested Smith on Feb. 26 at a traffic safety checkpoint on Ky. 185 after troopers detected an odor of marijuana coming from his vehicle.
Smith pulled away from troopers and reached into his jacket when law enforcement attempted to handcuff him, according to an arrest citation said.
Smith was struck in his right arm with a police baton in order to loosen the grip on his steering wheel and troopers found a loaded handgun in his jacket, his arrest citation said.
A search warrant executed at his Girkin Road residence led to the seizure of three additional firearms, one of which was reported stolen, leading to additional charges against Smith.
During an interview with BGPD investigators, Smith implicated himself and Wilson in Miropija’s death, court records show.
– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.