Man admitted fatally shooting girlfriend’s ex: reports

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Ethan Jermaine Smith didn’t like the friendship his girlfriend maintained with her ex-boyfriend.

He often became upset over it, the girlfriend told police, and made threats about assaulting the other man.

On the morning of Sept. 29, Smith fatally shot the ex-boyfriend, claiming he acted in self-defense, police say in reports filed in Superior Court.

Smith, 20, admitted to killing Derek Deon Henry Jr., according to court filings. He said Henry had previously threatened to kill him.

Smith told detectives Henry became “extremely disrespectful” when they confronted each other in the north alley in the 3900 block of Sorrano Avenue. That’s when Smith pulled a gun and fire through the windshield of the Chevy Tahoe Henry was sitting in, he said according to the filings.

Henry, 30, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Prosecutors have charged Smith with first-degree murder and he’s held on $1.25 million bail.

Police were called to the alley around 9:30 a.m. to a report of shots fired. They found Henry seated in the Tahoe and received information he had previously dated a woman who lived nearby.

The woman described her friendship with Henry and said she was currently dating Smith, say the filings, in which everyone’s name except Smith’s is redacted.

She said Smith — who had been living with her — didn’t like her hanging out with Henry and often confronted him when he arrived at her home.

Smith spent the night Sept. 28 and left about a half hour before the shooting, she told investigators.

Police also contacted the mother of Henry’s children, who said she knew about his friendship with the other woman and believed they were sleeping together, according to the documents. She said she had met Smith on Soranno Avenue and exchanged contact information, and he would send her messages whenever Henry made an appearance.

She also told police Smith in early September made threats on SnapChat to assault Henry, the documents say.

Smith was arrested the night of the shooting when police conducting surveillance saw him jump from one roof to the next as he made his way to his apartment, according to the documents. He entered through a bedroom window then left about 20 minutes later and got in a car parked on Soranno Avenue.

The car traveled to the area of Wilson and Akers roads and Smith was detained, the documents say.

He’s due back in court Jan. 13.

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