Former Raiders player Anthony Wayne Smith sentenced to 3 life terms for murders

A bailiff uncuffs former Raiders player Anthony Wayne Smith, center, after he arrives in court with his attorney Michael Evans.  
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Former Oakland Raiders defensive end Anthony Wayne Smith was sentenced Friday to serve three consecutive life terms in prison for killing three men in 1999 and 2001.

In November, a Lancaster jury found Smith, 48, guilty in the 1999 double killings of brothers Ricky and Kevin Nettles and the 2001 death of Dennis Henderson. Jurors also found true special circumstance allegations that Smith committed kidnapping, torture and multiple murders.

At the time, the jurors were deadlocked on the 2008 killing of a fourth man, Maurilio Ponce, and a mistrial was declared.

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After Smith’s conviction, his attorney, Michael Evans, said he planned to appeal the decision and file a motion for a new trial.

Smith played professional football with the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders in the 1990s.

Prosecutors said Smith posed as a police officer when he kidnapped the Nettles brothers at their carwash business on Nov. 10, 1999. The next day, the brothers were found dead of gunshot wounds. Authorities said their bodies showed evidence of torture.

In 2001, Smith kidnapped Henderson in Mar Vista, prosecutors said. Henderson’s body was found the next day in the back of a rental car. He had been beaten and stabbed to death.


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Smith was a top draft pick of the Los Angeles Raiders in 1990. After his third season, he signed a four-year, $7.6-million contract extension with the team. In 1997, he opted out of his contract and did not sign with another team.

After ending his career, Smith faced legal troubles and was charged with firebombing a furniture store in Santa Monica. The firebombing was reportedly over a dispute with the store’s owner about money and a consignment item.

Two juries were deadlocked on a verdict and that case was dismissed.


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