Anderson home

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's deputies investigate the scene of a stabbing in Sulphur in May of 2016, that left Robert Anderson dead and his wife, Rita Anderson, clinging for life. Antonieo Smith was found guilty of the crimes this week in court.

Jurors quickly delivered a guilty verdict Wednesday on all charges in the trial of 18-year-old Antonieo Smith.

The Sulphur man was convicted of second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, aggravated burglary and armed robbery.

Smith broke into and trashed the Majestic Pines Drive home of Robert and Rita Anderson on May 16 before stabbing the couple — killing Robert Anderson — and then fleeing in their pickup truck.

Rita Anderson testified Wednesday that Smith, who had been her granddaughter’s boyfriend, had lived with her and her husband for a time but that they asked him to leave a couple of months prior to the incident.

On May 16, Anderson said she opened her front door to find Smith behind it. She asked him what he was doing there. “He showed me the knife and pointed it at me,” she said.

Anderson said she put her hand in front of her face, and Smith slashed it. “He kept stabbing me,” she said.

She said she yelled to her husband to “get out of here” and that Smith was coming after him. But Robert Anderson was hard of hearing. She said she laid her head on the injured man’s shoulders and yelled for someone to call 911. She said she begged her husband not to leave her.

“He whispered in my ear.”

He said, ‘I love you,’ ” she said.

Robert Anderson, according to the later testimony of Calcasieu Parish Coroner Dr. Terry Welke, had seven stab wounds. A 7½-inch deep wound in his right upper back was the fatal injury, Welke said.

Rita Anderson said she has endured seven surgeries and has two more to undergo. She said it was hard for her to go back home. “I was scared,” she said.

Smith didn’t testify Wednesday. But jurors heard an audio recording of him being interviewed by Calcasieu Sheriff ’s Deputy Casey Lafargue at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, where Smith was taken after flipping the Andersons’ truck on Broad Street. Lafargue said Smith was cooperative.

In the recording, Smith spoke of his issues with his ex-girlfriend and her mother, with whom he said he had smoked weed — a claim confirmed by the woman’s testimony. He also said he didn’t have a problem with the Andersons.

But then Smith admitted to riding a bicycle that day to the Anderson residence and to tearing up the inside of their home. He said he was on his way to the kitchen when Rita Anderson startled him at the door. Smith said she had grabbed him by the shirt.

“I stabbed her until she let me go,” he said. Smith admitted to stabbing Robert Anderson and taking his truck.

Following the reading of the verdict, Judge David Ritchie ordered Smith to be held without bond until sentencing. Ritchie asked the defense how long they would need to develop information for the penalty phase.

A conviction for second degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence, but because Smith was 17 when the murder occurred the judge will have some discretion. Sentencing will be Aug. 11.