An Alaska man was indicted on murder, sexual assault and evidence tampering charges on Monday after police were given a memory card that contained videos and photographs of him allegedly killing a woman.
Brian Steven Smith, 48, was indicted on one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of second-degree sexual assault and three counts of tampering with physical evidence, according to court records.
The woman shown in the video being killed was 30-year-old Kathleen J. Henry, Anchorage police said last week.
The grand jury that indicted Smith found that, when it came to the first-degree murder charge, he subjected his victim to “substantial physical torture.”
Daniel L. Lowery, Smith’s public defender, said he would enter a not guilty plea on behalf of his client in an arraignment on Wednesday. Lowery declined to comment further, citing the ongoing case.
Smith remains in custody at Anchorage Correctional Complex, according to the Alaska Department of Corrections records.
A woman found the memory card
Police were alerted about the card on September 30, by a horrified woman who said she found photographs and videos of a woman being strangled, beaten and raped by a man, according to the affidavit for Smith’s arrest.
She found the card on the ground in the city’s Fairview neighborhood, the affidavit said.
The memory card was labeled “homicide at midtown Marriott,” authorities said, adding there were 39 photos and 12 videos on the card.
Authorities found disturbing images of a naked woman bruised and bloodied on a floor next to a bed on the card, the affidavit says. Videos showed the woman being strangled and struggling to breathe as the man laughed, according to the affidavit.
Police determined she was killed in the first week of September.
Two days after the discovery of the card, police responded to a call about human remains in the southern part of the city, which they believed were of the woman in the video.
While examining the videos, detectives recognized Smith — who has “some sort of an English sounding accent” — from a previous investigation, the affidavit says.
Smith, a South African immigrant, was identified as a suspect and arrested on October 8. A man named Brian Smith was registered at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Anchorage from September 2-4, the affidavit said.
The carpet in the images and the video matches that hotel’s carpet, the document said.
“This serves as another example of when you see something suspicious, say something,” the Anchorage Police Department said in a statement.