Docs: Vanc. hit & run suspect bought spare parts for damaged truck

Docs: Vanc. hit & run suspect bought spare parts for damaged truck

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by Cornelius Swart, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 30 at 10:25 PM

VANCOUVER— Court documents released Thursday say that the suspect in a Vancouver hit-and-run that claimed the lives of two mothers, purchased spare parts for his damaged pickup truck days after the accident.

Police believe Brandon Smith, 27, of Vancouver was driving the Toyota pickup truck that hit and killed 28-year-old Irina Gardinant and 45-year-old Raisa Mosh as they were crossing a Vancouver street on Jan. 19.

Smith turned himself in to police at 5 p.m. Wednesday. He was booked on one count of vehicular assault, one count of tampering with evidence, two counts of vehicular homicide, and three counts of hit-and-run.

More: Suspect in deadly Vancouver hit & run arrested

An affidavit obtained by KGW says detectives seized a computer from Smith and found he had placed an order Jan. 20 for a Grille Assembly Plastic Shell and a pair of Toyota Tacoma chrome headlights. The front end of Smith’s white Toyota was significantly damaged in the hit-and-run.

Smith's arrest followed almost two weeks of tension, in which the family of the victims pleaded publicly for the suspect to step forward. On Jan. 27, Smith's mother and girlfriend were arrested for tampering with evidence amid police assertions that Smith was being “uncooperative.”

On Thursday, a Vancouver judge agreed with prosecutors that Smith had been uncooperative and set his bail at $1 million.

Smith’s attorney argued that his client had complied with investigators.

Defense attorney Jon McMullen said he was available to police on behalf of Brandon throughout the investigation. 

More: Police: Pickup owner in deadly hit-and-run found, not cooperating

According to court documents, witnesses told police they saw Brandon’s white pickup at his parents’ house about an hour after the hit-and-run. They could see the driver looking at the front of the truck. They say Smith then drove away.

Smith's girlfriend Kalista Andino, 21, was charged Monday with one count of witness tampering. Her 5-month-old baby, Smith's child, was taken into protective custody on Wednesday.

Smith's mother, 63-year-old Linda Smith, was also charged with witness tampering. She allegedly called witnesses and urged them not to speak with investigators.

More: Two women arrested for witness tampering in deadly Vanc. hit-and-run

On Thursday, a dozen of the victims' families and friends appeared in court, escorted by uniformed police officers. They did not comment. Smith kept his head down throughout the proceedings and never made eye contact with any of the victims’ family members.

Smith, his mother and Andino will enter a plea at their arraignments on Feb. 7.

 

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