Maryland man charged with hate crimes in triple homicide that left 3 Hispanic men dead

A Maryland man now faces charges of first-degree murder and hate crimes after allegedly killing three Hispanic men and injuring several others in a dispute over parking. The victims, who were Latino, were shot to death by a white man with whom their families had a history of conflicts, including allegations of racial slurs. The indictment, returned by an Anne Arundel County grand jury, includes a total of 42 charges, including attempted first-degree murder. The accused, Charles Robert Smith, is scheduled to appear in court next week.

Maryland prosecutors have upgraded the charges against Charles Robert Smith, who was initially charged with second-degree murder. The new indictment includes first-degree murder and hate crime charges in the killings of Mario Mireles, Nicholas Mireles, and Christian Segovia. The hate crime charges were filed under Maryland’s law, which applies to crimes motivated by race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, or national origin. If convicted, Smith could face life in prison without parole.

According to police charging documents, the shooting occurred during a large party where a dispute over parking escalated. Mario Mireles went to Smith’s home to discuss the issue and got into an argument with Shirley Smith, Charles Smith’s mother. When Charles Smith returned home, the verbal altercation turned physical. Smith retrieved a gun and shot Mireles and Segovia. He then proceeded to shoot Mario Mireles multiple times. Smith later grabbed a rifle and fired at individuals who were attempting to help the wounded victims. Nicholas Mireles was fatally shot, and Rosalina Segovia, Paul Johnson, and Enner Canales-Hernandez were injured.

The Smith and Mireles families had a long-standing history of disputes, which had even led them to seek court intervention in the past. In September 2016, Mario Mireles filed a peace order petition against Shirley Smith, accusing her of harassment and racial slurs directed at him and his family. Shirley Smith also sought a peace order, alleging that Mireles had damaged her car and engaged in destructive behavior. Both petitions were denied by the judge.