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Man found guilty in 2014 arson and animal cruelty case in Porter, jury recommends 32 years in prison
8:33 PM, Oct 20, 2016
6:23 PM, Oct 21, 2016
WAGONER COUNTY - A Wagoner County jury recommended a Porter man be sentenced to 32 years in prison on Friday for burning down a home and killing three pets.
Wagoner County Assistant District Attorney Josh King said jurors found Michael Lee Smith, 58, guilty of first-degree arson and three counts of animal cruelty stemming from an investigation into a house fire on May 20, 2014.
Smith faces a sentence of 20 years in prison for the arson conviction and four years for each count of animal abuse.
According to a probable cause affidavit, a member of Smith's family got into an altercation with a member of the arson victim's family in February of 2014. During that incident, Mike Smith's nephew Wayne made threats, according to the affidavit.
Three months later, firefighters battling a house fire in the 22500 block of S. 365 E. Ave. near Porter called Wagoner County deputies to investigate three dead animals. A horse was found in a pasture riddled with gunshot wounds, including one fatal shot to the head. Investigators found two dogs had been shot multiple times while they were trapped in a dog kennel.
Investigators said that Smith and his brother, Wayne Smith, broke in to the home through the garage and set it on fire.
Investigators found Facebook messages where a family member said the brothers admitted to their roles in the fire, the affidavit said.
Deputies executed a search warrant on Mike Smith's home in September, where they found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Smith, on 40-years' probation for a 1991 drug conviction Texas, was jailed in Wagoner County without bond in September 2014.
Court records show Smith was convicted of possession of controlled substance in the presence of a minor and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
The court will determine Mike Smith's sentence on Friday.
Wayne Smith's trial is set for Feb. 13 of next year. He's also charged with three counts of animal abuse and one count of arson.