A Pennsylvania woman who was shot and killed by her boyfriend inside their Chester County home recorded her own murder on her cellphone, prosecutors said.
The boyfriend, Keith Smith, is heard acknowledging the recording and shouting obscenities at the woman before killing her, prosecutors with the Chester County District Attorney's Office alleged Wednesday. The office charged Smith with her murder.
Investigators said Smith, 43, and his girlfriend Wesley Webb were inside their home on the 300 block of Buckwalter Road in Schuylkill Township on May 2. Three children, all under the age of 14, were also inside the home at the time.
Smith and Webb got into an argument that night, according to officials, and Webb decided she was going to take two of the children and leave the home. Webb, seated on a couch in the living room, took out her phone and began to record audio of the argument, investigators said.
During the recording, Smith allegedly grabbed his single-shot, 12-gauge shotgun and opened fire, striking Webb once in the chest and killing her.
The recording allegedly captured Smith asking Webb, “You want to record it now, b---h?” The sound of a gunshot is then heard, before Smith shouts, “F--- you! How’s that? That’s where we just went,” according to investigators.
After shooting Webb, Smith reloaded the shotgun and turned it on himself, investigators said. He shot himself in the face but failed to kill himself, according to officials.
Officials say the three children were upstairs in the home during the shooting, but went downstairs and discovered Webb’s body. One of the children called 911 and police arrived at the home in minutes, officials said. When police arrived, Smith allegedly admitted that he shot Webb and had tried to kill himself after. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.
"This was a savage, selfish, and cowardly murder,” Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said. “The defendant did not hesitate to kill his girlfriend. But he flinched when it came to killing himself. Now, the victim is dead, the defendant is alive, and three kids have been badly traumatized.”
Smith is charged with first and third degree murder, possessing an instrument of crime and endangering the welfare of children. He is being treated at a hospital where he is in stable condition and will be transferred to Chester County Prison once he is medically cleared.
It was not immediately clear if Smith had an attorney.
“This case is a tragic example of technology and the law catching up to criminals,” Hogan said. “Until 2012 in Pennsylvania, a victim’s recording of her own murder would have been inadmissible under the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act. This law was changed in 2012, fixing a glaring omission. But that is slight solace for the children and family of the victim in this case.”