Estranged wife charged for Kirby Smith's cold case murder - WNCN: News, Weather

Estranged wife charged for Kirby Smith's cold case murder

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COLUMBUS, Ga. - The estranged wife of a Columbus man who was murdered 10 years ago is now charged in his killing. Columbus police arrested William Kirby Smith's estranged wife and another man for the 2004 murder. Rebecca Smith Haynie and Donald Keith Phillips are both facing murder charges. Friends of the murdered man are now taking time to remember his life.

"I loved him and he always treated me like I was his child," said Jay Mirabella.

Mirabella knew Kirby Smith since he was a little boy. He was raised by a single mother and says Kirby was like a father figure.

"He used to take me for a ride in the race car sometimes after the race. I'd just sit in the car and he'd race the engine in it. To me that was a child's dream," said Mirabella.

Mirabella remembers the moment he found out that Kirby was murdered inside his auto repair shop 10 years ago.

"I was beside myself. It was like losing a father to be honest. Grown me do cry," said Mirabella.

Smith was shot to death in his auto repair shop on Jacqueline Drive. He was found in the early morning on March 8th, 2004. Two years after his murder the family placed his picture on a billboard and offered a $10,000 reward for information. 10 years later, on June 6, 2014, Columbus police have arrested 2 suspects in connection with the case.

Lt. Greg Touchberry with the Columbus Police Department says there were several agencies that helped the Police Department with the arrest. They credit the District Attorney's office and "Cold Justice."

Haynie and Phillips will have their first court appearance June 6th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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