Two men charged in homicide investigation, one appears in court, another detained in Philippines

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Two local men were recently indicted on charges in connection to a murder on Porter Pike, according to the Bowling Green Police Department.

Jeffery Smith and Antonio Wilson are both facing charges related to the February 2019 homicide.

Police say 49-year-old Smajo Miropija was found dead inside a business in the 200 block of Porter Pike on February 8. His body had been severely burned. It was taken to Louisville for an autopsy and the Medical Examiner concluded his death was a homicide.

According to the Bowling Green Police Department, Wilson and Smith engaged in conspiracy to commit the murder of Smajo Miropija.

Police say on February 9, police conducted an unrelated traffic stop on Wilson. Wilson was asked multiple times if he would talk to detectives about the death, but Wilson declined and said he would come in at a later date. BGPD says detectives made numerous attempts to contact Wilson, but were unsuccessful.

According to BGPD, Wilson flew from Chicago to the Philippines on February 10. They said Wilson scheduled a return date of March 1.

On February 26, Kentucky State Police arrested Smith on unrelated charges. During an interview with detectives, BGPD says Smith told detectives Wilson hired him to murder Miropija.

On March 22, Wilson had not returned to the U.S. as scheduled.

Detectives with BGPD obtained a warrant for Wilson, and with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals, FBI, and U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Wilson was taken into custody in the Philippines and is awaiting extradition to the United States.

Wilson has been indicted for the following charges: murder by complicity, tampering with physical evidence, and abuse of a corpse.

Smith has been indicted for the following charges: murder, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a firearm by convicted felon (three counts), and receiving stolen property (firearm).

On Monday, April 15, Smith was supposed to be arraigned. He appeared in court in front of Judge John Grise, who rescheduled that arraignment for Wednesday, April 17.

Wilson was not in court because he's still in the Philippines, but his name was still brought up. Attorney Alan Simpson, who represents Wilson in a separate matter, appeared in court Monday morning to talk about Wilson's bond.

In court, Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Cohron said Wilson fled to the Philippines to avoid law enforcement and he has a significant criminal history. Simpson said Wilson had a return flight home for early April, but because he was detained, he hasn't been able to come back to the U.S. on his own.

Judge Grise set Wilson's bond at $500,000 cash. He said he will look at that amount again once Wilson is brought back to the U.S.

Alan Simpson said it's unclear whether or not he'll represent Wilson in this case going forward. Simpson said Wilson and Smith are co-defendants and their cases will be combined for now.

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