Randy Smoot arraigned on murder, assault charges

Flint Hill suspect arrested seven times since 2008

Randy Lynn Smoot, charged in the death of Jonas “Jay” Alther, was arraigned in Rappahannock County District Court last Thursday, October 26. The arraignment was held by video conference from the Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren Regional Jail in Front Royal, where Smoot is being held without bond.

Rappahannock County Sheriff’s investigator James Jones charged the 47-year-old Flint Hill resident with aggravated malicious wounding after Smoot allegedly assaulted Alther with a heavy object, believed to be an industrial flashlight.

According to Sheriff Connie Compton, when the RCSO responded on October 19 to a call for a welfare check at Alther’s house a few minutes’ drive from the town of Washington, “Mr. Alther was unconscious, unresponsive and appeared to have sustained an injury to the head. Mr. Alther was treated by EMS and transported to Inova Fairfax hospital, where [he] remained hospitalized through the weekend.”

He later succumbed to his injuries.

That same day, Smoot was also charged with first-degree murder. He has retained Warrenton attorney Mark Williams and will appear in court for a preliminary hearing on December 19.

A check of court records shows that Smoot has been charged seven other times on various misdemeanors and felonies since 2008. Several charges were dismissed or dropped. Others resulted in convictions after plea bargaining.

Two charges were amended down, including a 2012 charge of a third incidence of DWI in five to 10 years. That felony charge was certified to the grand jury. In March of 2013, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of a second incidence of DWI in five years, also a felony.

He was sentenced to 12 months in jail, with seven months suspended, and one year of unsupervised probation. His driver’s license was suspended for three years and he was ordered to attend Virginia’s alcohol awareness program.

About Patty Hardee 277 Articles
Writer, consultant, actor, director, recovering stand-up comic, Patty covers the county’s courts and other topics of interest for Rappahannock News. She lives with her grape-growing husband Bill Freitag in Flint Hill.