20 years for man who murdered his own cousin while on electronic monitoring

CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been sentenced to 20 years for fatally shooting his own cousin while on electronic monitoring for a pending narcotics case.

Frederick Smith, 39, was found guilty of second-degree murder in a bench trial by Judge Michael Clancy, according to court records. Prosecutors pursued a first-degree murder charge, but Clancy found him guilty of the lesser charge. Smith is scheduled to be paroled in October 2031 after serving about half of the 20-year sentence.

Smith’s cousin, Anthony Douglas, 35, and a woman who knew both men went to Smith’s home in the 4600 block of South Emerald to pick up some of the cousin’s personal belongings on November 1, 2021, prosecutors said. But Douglas believed Smith didn’t give him all the property he was expecting, and he began knocking on Smith’s door and calling him to get the rest of his stuff.

When Smith didn’t answer after several minutes, Douglas went to the back of Smith’s home.

Prosecutors said in 2021 that surveillance video showed Smith shooting his cousin and then standing over him and shooting him in the head while he was on the ground.

“Get out of here, or I’ll kill you, too,” Smith allegedly told the woman who accompanied Douglas to his home.

Police officers who responded to a ShotSpotter gunfire alert found Douglas lying on a sidewalk with nine gunshot wounds: two in the head, one in the neck, two in the chest, two in the right shoulder, and two in the right hand, officials said.

Smith, who was on electronic monitoring for a pending case involving allegations of heroin and fentanyl distribution, got into a car and fled, prosecutors said. His defense attorney in 2021 said Smith denied any involvement in the murder and claimed Smith left his house to hunt for the real killer.

Frederick Smith | Chicago Police Department

Chicago police arrested Smith within 48 hours. As a result, prosecutors could not charge him with escaping from electronic monitoring because Illinois’ 2021 criminal justice legislation, known as the SAFE-T Act, decriminalized electronic monitoring absences of less than two days.

In the narcotics case, officials accused him of having nearly $6,000 worth of heroin, a scale, and $3,482 cash in his car during a traffic stop. Prosecutors dropped the charges in March.

Smith was also charged with murder in 2003 but was convicted of a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter and received a 12-year sentence.

Editor’s note: This story originally stated that prosecutors opted not to pursue first-degree murder charges before trial. That is incorrect. The story has been updated accordingly.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com