Former NBA player shot near Bowie charged in drug-related crime
Ex-Georgetown basketball player innocent of charges, attorney says
The former NBA basketball player who was shot in October because of alleged gambling debts was charged Tuesday with additional drug-related crimes.
Charles Edward Smith, 43, a former Boston Celtics and Georgetown University basketball player, was shot in the upper body Oct. 21 at a house in the 13200 block of Landsdales Hope Way in the Fairwood community west of Bowie.
Online court records for Prince George's County District Court show that Smith was initially charged Oct. 29 with one count of possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute; one count of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, not marijuana; and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
On Nov. 16, those charges were moved to Prince George's County Circuit Court, online court records for Prince George's County Circuit Court show.
On Tuesday, Smith was indicted by a grand jury on two additional counts, including one count of possession of a controlled dangerous substance and one count of manufacturing, distribution and possession with the intent to distribute, according to online court records for Prince George's County Circuit Court. A status conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 3 and a trial is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. March 21.
Police said in October that a large amount of cocaine was found in the home.
Smith, who answered the phone at the Landsdales Hope Way address Thursday, would not comment on the case. Smith is not currently in jail.
Smith's attorney, Jimmy A. Bell of Bowie, said his client in innocent.
"My client was a victim of attempted home invasion," Bell said. "The police jumped to some conclusions not based on evidence, but based on sloppy police work."
Bell said that "without question" Smith is innocent of the charges brought against him.
Police have said they believe the shooting was the result of a gambling dispute, which is still believed to be true, said Cpl. Larry Johnson, a spokesman for the Prince George's County Police Department. The investigation in the shooting is ongoing.
The suspect in the shooting who at the time of the shooting was described as a black man, 5-feet, 5-inches tall with long black hair, wearing a red hat, brown jacket and blue jeans and carrying a handgun has not been found and no one has been charged with the shooting, Johnson said.
Johnson, who could not say specifically how much cocaine was recovered from the home, said that based on Smith's charges, it is a "considerable amount."
At the time of the shooting, a police spokeswoman said police seized "a large quantity of cocaine and evidence of a gambling operation," possibly ledgers, when executing a search warrant of the house Oct. 21.
Bell said he has "no idea how much cocaine was taken."
Smith went to Georgetown after attending All Saints High School in Washington, D.C., which was merged into Archbishop Carroll in 1989.
Smith played point guard for Georgetown from 1985 through 1989, earning All-America and Big East Player of the Year honors in 1989, according to Georgetown's website. He was the Hoyas leading scorer his final two seasons at the school, averaging 15.7 and 18.7 points per game respectively during his junior and senior seasons.
Smith was not drafted by an NBA team, but signed as a free agent with the Boston Celtics. Five games into his second season with the Celtics, Smith's car struck two Boston University students. He was convicted of vehicular homicide and served two and a half years in state prison, the Hoyas' website says.
Smith tried to restart his NBA career in 1996 with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but was waived. He played in 73 NBA games and scored 186 points and had 115 assists, according to the website Basketball-Reference.com.