Man pleads to attempted murder, arson

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The 22-year-old Sandia Park man accused of trying to kill his ex-girlfriend in 2011 pleaded no contest Thursday to two counts of attempted second degree murder and attempted aggravated arson.

Andrew Smoot faces up to 12 years in prison for the crimes. He admitted to deputies he intended to set fire to the home of his ex-girlfriend, Emilie Deans.

Smoot had parked his Nissan Maxima with a bottle of lighter fluid on the trunk before a Valencia County Sheriff's deputy saw the suspicious vehicle while on routine patrol.

Deputies also found an open package of Latex gloves, an open package of face masks, anti-freeze and a package of steaks.

The man told deputies he intentionally soaked the steak with anti-freeze and threw it over the fence for the family's dog to ingest.

Smoot told the deputies he wanted the dog to be incapacitated so he could approach the residence.

He also pleaded no contest to bribery of a witness and extreme cruelty to animals as part of Thursday's plea.

Smoot was indicted on separate charges that include aggravated stalking and bribery of a witness, after deputies said he contacted ex-girlfriend Emilie Deans through email and Facebook. The aggravated stalking charge was dismissed as part of the plea agreement with the district attorney's office.

Smoot took the plea deal late Thursday to avoid a Nov. 6 trial date.

"We are glad he took responsibility for his actions," said Thirteenth Judicial District Attorney Lemuel Martinez. "We hope the victims will be satisfied with the outcome. It's a great case for Valencia County, local law enforcement and the district attorney's office."

Assistant District Attorney Darlene Weed said Thursday that their was "strong evidence" against Smoot, and that the district attorney's office will recommend that he serve the maximum of 12 years behind bars.

According to deputies, Smoot continued to harass the girl by using her information and hacking into her Facebook account and acting as if it were the girl.

Deputies said Smoot used spy software to hack into the girl's account to create messages and sent Deans numerous messages from different user names that told Deans she should leave Smoot alone.

Weed said prosecutors had enough evidence against Smoot had the matter gone to trial.

"Detective Harris (of the Valencia County Sheriff's Office) did some good work," she said. "We had interviews, we had photos. … We were confident we had enough evidence to prove the allegations."

District Court Judge Violet Otero ruled Smoot must comply with his conditions of release and be cooperative in giving interviews for a pre-sentence report. The report is scheduled to be completed in the next 60 days.

According to Chris Marquez, pre-trial service's officer, Smoot must wear an ankle bracelet as part of his standard conditions of release.

Smoot's parents posted a $100,000 cash-only bond and cannot come into Valencia County without permission since Deans resides in the area.

Smoot must stay on the northeast side of Albuquerque, where his parents live. He is required to stay in that particular zone at all times.


-- Email the author at bruffner@news-bulletin.com.