A man from Topeka, Kansas has admitted to killing another man who is believed to have menaced and bullied him for years. Andrew Timothy Evans, 43, pleaded guilty to one count of murder in the second degree on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, according to Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay.
The admission of legal culpability comes nearly three years after the defendant was charged with one count of premeditated murder in the first degree over the stabbing death of 41-year-old Raymond Smith. The court entered a judgment of conviction against Evans the same day he tendered his plea.
Sentencing is currently slated for the morning of Aug, 12, 2022.
The incident occurred on Sept. 1, 2019, a mild summer day that grew hotter as the hours passed. A neighborhood near the Shawnee Country Club would turn violent and bloody as the sun began to set.
Officers arrived to reports of a stabbing at a residence across the street from Ross Elementary School. Smith was found in the small house on SE 33rd St, unresponsive, suffering from multiple wounds. Efforts to save Smith’s life failed; he later died from his injuries.
According to Topeka CBS affiliate WIBW, Evans was arrested the next day and formally charged with murder a few days after that.
The defendant didn’t fight for bail during a hearing the next month.
Instead, according to the TV station, defense attorney Jason Belveal told District Court Judge C. William Ossmann their side had entered into a stipulation over facts enough to warrant pre-trial detention.
Shawnee County Assistant District Attorney Roger Luedke said the killing occurred in the front yard of the house Evans owned, where Smith lived, where security camera footage showed the victim crawling backwards and already on his back – as the defendant set upon him and then stabbed him repeatedly.
“I knew Andrew was frustrated,” witness Wilbert Osler testified. “You never see [Evans] frustrated.”
The genesis of the violence was allegedly long-running and multifaceted, Osler and others told the court.
The neighbor said he was watching TV on the day in question when all of a sudden it grew far too quiet outside, WIBW reported.
Osler testified that he left his house to see what was going on when he found Smith on the ground, Evans pulling him a little before stopping and saying they both needed to get rid of the body.
“Hell, no, I’m calling 911,” the neighbor testified he replied to the defendant’s request – recalling that as he waited for law enforcement to arrive, he watched the dying man with his eyes open, not blinking.
Osler’s brother, Adam Taylor, also testified as a direct witness to the slaying. He said he saw Evans stab Smith several times.
“I was stunned,” he said. “I was shocked. I yelled at [Evans].”
Both brothers testified that Smith had bullied Evans and others for years – sometimes violently.
Osler said Smith had been a “bully” for as long as he lived at the residence and “was always ripping someone.”
Osler went on to say that Smith had once pulled a knife on him, referred to him using a racial slur, and threatened to whip him.
Several times over the years, Osler testified, Evans had tried to evict Smith – who was said to have lived there rent-free as a handyman who never worked. When efforts were made to give the since-deceased man the boot, the neighbor said, Smith would “get in Andrew’s face.”
On the day he died, the victim allegedly stole something from the defendant. After an initial altercation over that property dispute, Taylor testified the two retreated, but Evans then “snapped” and put a knife in the victim over and over again. Taylor said Smith screamed his name as he was being killed. Evans eventually turned to look at him, Taylor continued, but the killer’s face was “blank.”
“I never seen [Evans] do that,” Taylor said, stressing that the defendant had a “good name” and was known to be “mild-mannered.”
Another neighbor, Maurice Pratcher, testified that Smith had once threatened to kick in Evans’ door and cut his throat. He remembered Smith as being the aggressor, with something in his hand, according to WIBW’s report, but quickly being cut down by the knife in Evans’ hand.
Belveal asked Taylor what he thought caused the final outburst.
“Five years,” the neighbor said.
[image via Topeka Police Department]
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