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  • Man with “house of God” murders stepfather in fight over gay guest
  • October 22, 2021

Man with “house of God” murders stepfather in fight over gay guest

Christian Smith. via Salem County Correctional Facility

A Philadelphia man will face murder charges after shooting his stepfather to death in an argument. The reason for the fight: his stepfather invited a gay friend to the house.

Prosecutors have charged Christian A. Smith, 23 with first-degree murder and a second-degree charge of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in connection with the killing of his stepfather, 43-year-old Dennis McKenzie. NJ.com reports that Smith had visited the home of his mother and stepfather on the evening of October 9. A relative happened to visit at the same time, and invited a gay friend over. Smith objected, shouting anti-gay slurs. A fight with McKenzie then ensued.

Related: Five shot in attack near Atlanta Black Gay Pride event

“He made it known to his stepfather that he did not approve of that person coming into their house … that their house was a house of God,” Assistant Prosecutor Dana Anton said in a statement. “The stepfather took a swing at Mr. Smith and, I believe, maybe superficially hit him. In response to that, Mr. Smith took out a Glock 19 that was in his waistband and shot him three times.”

Smith was not injured in the fight. Bullets, meanwhile, struck McKenzie in the chest and head, killing him on the spot. Smith’s mother and a teen sibling witnessed the crime as it transpired.

Katherine Constantine Blinn, the public defender in charge of Smith’s case, has argued the shooting was accidental.

Superior Court Judge Mary Beth Kramer denied bail for Smith at a hearing earlier this week. Smith is scheduled to return to court on December 2 for another pre-indictment hearing.

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