MIAMI COUNTY — The trial for a Trotwood man accused of causing the death of a Troy man has been continued for the second time in Miami County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday.
William C. Smith II, 42, of Trotwood, was indicted on first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter in late December, reduced from an earlier charge of murder in the death of Willard Higgins Jr. on Dec. 8. Smith was originally scheduled to go to trial on May 1, but the trial will now be rescheduled for a later date.
“The case was recently continued in the delay of getting the autopsy report from the coroner’s office in Montgomery County,” Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Gee said during the hearing on Wednesday afternoon.
The state filed the most recent motion for a continuance, but Gee also discussed requests from Smith’s attorney and public defender Steve King. King is seeking three years of the victim’s medical records, autopsy photos, and a transcript of the 911 calls from the time of the alleged incident. King is also expected to request funds to hire an expert pathologist at a later date.
Gee noted that the state also does not have autospy photos. Miami County Prosecutor Tony Kendell said that they have requested copies.
“It is not likely that a trial could proceed on May 1 … At this point, I feel that all parties would benefit from a continuance of this trial, so I will grant the motion to continue this trial,” Gee said.
According to initial reports, Higgins, 40, of Troy, died at Kettering Hospital in Kettering following a physical altercation with Smith on the 600 block of Walnut Street on Dec. 8.
According to police records, following the altercation, Higgins allegedly had difficulty breathing and requested his blood pressure medication. Higgins’ girlfriend then called 911, and he was transported to Upper Valley Medical Center. Higgins apparently suffered a heart attack and was placed on a breathing machine. Reports also stated Higgins had a brain bleed and was later transported by CareFlight to Kettering Hospital, where he died.
According to witnesses, Smith allegedly made a comment about Higgins’ girlfriend that sparked the altercation.
The new trial date has not yet been scheduled. Smith is continuing to be held at the Miami County Jail.
In other news:
A motion to suppress evidence was withdrawn in the case for Nathaniel S. Nichols, 24, of Troy, who is facing multiple counts of first-degree felony kidnapping in addition to first-degree felony aggravated burglary and fourth-degree felony failure to comply with a law enforcement officer.
Nichols was originally charged in November after he allegedly forced his way into an apartment on Regency Court in Covington on Nov. 5. What began as a domestic dispute turned into a burglary and hostage situation where a child was allegedly held at knife-point on Nov. 5, according to previous police reports.
Covington Police units along with Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the apartment building located at the corner of Mote Drive and Regency Court at the south end of the village, and a standoff ensued. Following over an hour of talking, Nichols agreed to hand the child over to police. There was then a struggle for the knife, and Nichols suffered a knife wound to his abdomen.
Nichols is continuing to be held at the Miami County Jail.
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