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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Harrisburg Man Sentenced To Four Months For Planning The Attempted Escape Of His Son From Prison

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that William Trickett Smith, Sr., age 77, of Harrisburg was sentenced to 4 months in prison following his conviction for planning the attempted escape of his son from prison to avoid extradition and lying to agents investigating that planned escape.  The sentence was imposed by Senior U.S. District Judge William W. Caldwell.
Smith was charged in an indictment with attempting to arrange a prison escape, lying to federal agents about it, and trying to persuade someone else to lie to federal agents.  In a written plea agreement filed with and accepted by the court, Smith pled to the escape and lying charges in exchange for dismissal of the obstruction charge.  The charges stem from events surrounding the arrest and extradition of Smith’s son, William Trickett Smith II.  In 2007, Smith II was arrested locally and charged in Peru for the murder of his wife.  Peruvian authorities sought his extradition.

Smith Sr. devised a plan to have his son escape from custody after Smith Sr. filed a false private criminal complaint that would cause a hearing to be scheduled, requiring Smith II to be transported to Harrisburg.  The plan was that a stop would be made on the way, the transporting constable would be assaulted, and Smith II would escape.  That plan failed because the criminal complaint was not approved by the district attorney and Smith II was moved to another prison.  Smith Sr. then devised another plan for his son’s escape by paying off a prison guard.  That plan failed because Smith II was extradited to Peru.  Smith Sr. then lied about his plans and actions when questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance of detectives of the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office, the Perry County Prison, and the U.S. Marshals Service.

(Government's Sentencing Memorandum)  

Updated April 9, 2015