PITTSBURGH – A house fire death of a young child and the two women in Pittsburgh by a man who smelled of gasoline and boasted “yep, I did it” as he watched the house burn, police said.
Pittsburgh police believe Martell Smith, 41, put the fire early Wednesday after getting into a bar fight with a family member of the victims who also lived in the house.
A witness told the police that he Smith was heard muttering “yep, yep, I’ve done it”, while the fire department battled the blaze around 2 a.m. Wednesday. The police indictment Smith was also heard muttering “they made me do.”
None of those killed were involved in the bar fight earlier that night.
Smith is charged with three counts of murder, along with arson and drug possession. Also taken into custody was a 26-year-old woman who was with him when he was arrested. It was not known Thursday if either has retained a lawyer who can respond to the allegations.
Both Smith and the woman, Tiasia Malloy, smelled of gasoline when they were taken into custody, police said. According to the police, Smith for the first time, told them he bought the gas can in an area gas station — later to insist that he is not the purchase of a gas can.
During his interview with police, Smith gave a number of inconsistent accounts of his actions and whereabouts during the fire, which police said they were able to prove that as false, according to the complaint.
Malloy is charged with aggravated assault on an officer. She screamed in the interview room, hit the walls of the room and threw chairs at the walls, police said.
The victims were identified as a Hierarchy ” and, uh Manning, 4; her mother, Shamira States, 21; and Sandra Carter, 58. Each died of fire-related injuries, according to the medical examiner’s office.
A fourth occupant of the house, Cecil Douglas, 58, jumped to a neighboring house’s roof to escape the fire and had a leg injury.
States’s brother, Chuck States, 26, said Wednesday that his sister was a dedicated mother who loved her family.
A hierarchy’and was so outgoing that they often say hi to strangers,” he said.