INDIANAPOLIS — Accused triple killer Caden Smith turned 18 last Wednesday morning and celebrated with a female friend in her brother’s house, where Indy police detectives served a search warrant and claimed they found marijuana, ammunition and four guns.
Smith was out on bond at the time, wearing a GPS monitor on his ankle, and free pending trial because his attorney convinced a judge the search warrant linking him to the murder weapon was deficient. She threw out the evidence, the prosecutor appealed and now a higher court will need to rule.
The teenager is now back inside the Marion County Adult Detention Center and facing a Wednesday hearing and charges of dealing marijuana, visiting a common nuisance, invasion of privacy and violating his pre-trial release conditions.
Smith’s attorney says Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detectives have a vendetta against his client.
“It’s trumped up. They want him back in jail,” said David Hennessy. “I think they’re a little bitter. They messed up their own case.”
The mother of one of Smith’s alleged victims said she expected the accused killer would soon be back in jail after his release last month.
“I’m not surprised. This is what I expected because Caden Smith is clearly a criminal,” said Gladys Larsen whose son, Michael James, Jr., 22, was found shot to death in a secluded area near the 4400 block of South Meridian Street. “He is definitely someone who should remain in the Marion County jail.”
IMPD homicide detectives charge that James, Joseph Thomas, 18, and Abdullah Mubarak, 17, were killed over the course of two nights in October of 2021 as they met with Smith to look at or buy a gun.
Investigators said they later found that gun in a search of the relative’s home where Smith was staying on West Thompson Road, across I-465 from the murder scenes.
Hennessy argued that the detectives could not have known the gun would be in Smith’s bedroom in the home and Judge Jennifer Prinz Harrison agreed, dismissing the evidence before prosecutors appealed her ruling and she ordered the defendant released on bail and tethered to a GPS electronic monitoring device with no restrictions beyond typical orders to stay away from witnesses in the case.
“He was released and now I hear he was in a dwelling where there are weapons and drugs, so, I’m not surprised,” said Larsen. “He is a menace to society.”
Hennessy said his client did not violate the pre-trial release order.
“We haven’t been informed of any protected area. There’s no limitations on the hours. There’s no limitations on his movements,” he said. “The violation is a product of the no-contact orders. When you have a no-contact order, you can’t have any guns. He didn’t have any guns. They said, ‘in the house’. Not his house. Not his guns.”
In the Notice of the Pre-Trial Release Violation, an IMPD detective wrote, “Mr. Smith is not to possess firearms or have firearms in the residence he is staying in. On 11/23/22, IMPD served a search warrant and found (Smith) having firearms in the house, one of which, was reported stolen out of Hamilton County, Indiana.”
“The police did not indicate where they found anything,” argued Hennessy. “On visiting a common nuisance, it has to be more than one time and you have to know what’s in the house.”
Gladys Larsen recently spent her second birthday and Thanksgiving without her son, and thinks Smith is to blame.
“He was actually released on GPS to go home with his family for the holidays and my son Michael James, Joseph Thomas and Abdullah Mubarak are no longer here, and Caden Smith decides to go on his birthday and hang out somewhere where there are guns and drugs so, yes, he is definitely someone who should remain in the Marion County jail.”