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Man found guilty of killing of a woman who threatened to expose him

HAGERSTOWN, Md. – A homeless heroin addict acknowledged Monday that he killed a friend, after she threatened to expose him for stealing $250 from the cash register of a dollar store and a gas station.

Anthony Michael Minnick, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other crimes stemming from the robbery and the fatal shooting of Sonya Smith, 55, at her rural home near Smithsburg, about 75 miles northwest of Baltimore. Minnick faces a possible life sentence. No sentencing date was set.

Washington County Assistant State’s Attorney Brendan Flynn said Minnick shot Smith three times in the head with a .22-caliber, semi-automatic rifle, and then stole her mobile phone and a big stereo speaker of the house.

Flynn said Smith was alone in the house she shared with Bradley Roberts when Minnick came in the night of the 31st of May, after the retail robberies. Flynn said Minnick had visited the house earlier.

Minnick told investigators that Smith told him that she recognized him as the retail robbery suspect from store surveillance images police had released to the media earlier in the day, and that they plan to call the police. They argued, and Minnick shot Smith, according to his statement.

The police arrested Minnick for the retail robberies the next day, 1 June, after family members identified him as a suspect. On June 2, Smith’s sister, may reach her via the phone, asked the police to check on her well-being at the closed house. They found her body, fully clothed, on a bedroom floor, Flynn said.

Minnick’s father told investigators his son was homeless and addicted to heroin, according to court records.

Minnick’s lawyer, Assistant Public defender Amy Taylor, declined to comment after the hearing.

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