MIAMI COUNTY — William C. Smith, 42, of Trotwood, appeared in Miami County Municipal Court on Monday morning and was arraigned on a charge of murder of Willard Higgins Jr. last Friday.
Smith entered a not guilty plea and bond was set for $500,000.
According to initial reports, Higgins Jr., 40, of Troy, died at Kettering Hospital in Kettering following a physical altercation with Smith in the 600 block of Walnut Street around 12:30 p.m. Friday.
Late Friday evening, Smith was detained by Washington Courthouse police and was incarcerated in the Fayette County Jail on drug charges before being transferred to Miami County over the weekend.
According to police records, following the altercation, Higgins allegedly had difficulty breathing and requested his blood pressure medication. Higgins’ girlfriend then called 911 and was transported to Upper Valley Medical Center. Higgins apparently suffered a heart attack and was on a breathing machine. Reports also state Higgins had a brain bleed and was transported by CareFlight to Kettering Hospital where he later died.
According to witnesses, Smith allegedly made a comment about Higgins’ girlfriend which sparked the altercation.
An autopsy has been ordered and is underway at the Montgomery County Crime Lab.
A pre-trial hearing was set for Dec. 19 in Miami County Municipal Court.