When Kevin Robert Smith grabbed his shotgun during an argument with his girlfriend earlier this month, she grabbed her iPhone — and recorded her own murder, Chester County authorities said today.
Smith, 43, of Schuylkill Township, now stands charged with murder, possessing an instrument of crime and endangering the welfare of children for the May 2 slaying of Wesley Webb, 40, who activated the voice recorder on her smartphone seconds before Smith allegedly shot her once in the chest, according to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.
“You want to record it now, bitch?” Smith can be heard yelling at Webb as she lay dying, according to Hogan. “F**k you! How’s that? That’s where we just went.”
Smith allegedly reloaded his 12-gauge shotgun and tried to commit suicide seconds later, shooting himself in the face, Hogan said. He survived and remains hospitalized in stable condition. Webb died at the scene.
Three children, all under age 14, were home, upstairs, when the gunfire erupted and soon discovered the gruesome aftermath downstairs. One of the distraught children called 911. Two of the children were Webb’s, while the other was Smith’s, Hogan said.
Smith confessed to police, Hogan said.
The violence began with an argument, according to an affidavit. Webb told Smith she would leave with the children, the lead investigator wrote in the affidavit. But before she could go, police said, he shot her as she sat on a living-room couch.
“This was a savage, selfish and cowardly murder,” 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.”
It was the township’s first homicide in decades, township police Chief James Fetterman said.
“This is a very quiet area,” Hogan said. “There wasn’t a single person on the police force who could remember the last homicide there.”
The children now are with relatives, Hogan said.
The couple had no documented history of domestic problems, he said. Webb was an area bartender, while Smith worked at a local deli, he added.
The audio recording was unusual evidence that Hogan hopes will persuade a jury of Smith’s guilt.
“It’s hard to imagine more powerful evidence,” Hogan said. “It’s almost as if she’s reaching out from the grave to see justice done.”