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No Charges for Woman Who Fatally Shot Intruder

Sunday, April 24, 2005; Page SM03

No criminal charges will be filed against a Bryans Road woman who fatally shot a man who broke into her home and attacked her boyfriend this month, Charles County authorities said.

The Charles County state's attorney's office made the decision after reviewing the Charles County Sheriff's Office's investigation of the shooting.

Authorities said Clayton Maurice Smith, 43, broke into the woman's home on Heather Drive early on April 6 by throwing a cinder block through the front window. Smith, of Bryans Road, and the woman had been involved in a relationship that ended in December.

Once Smith was inside, the sheriff's office said, he began assaulting the woman's boyfriend, a 54-year-old Washington man. Smith struck him several times in the head with a metal steering-wheel locking device that Smith had tied to his hand, investigators said.

When Smith would not stop hitting the man, the woman got a handgun and fired one shot. Smith died at the scene. Police were called to the residence just before 4 a.m. Authorities said the woman lawfully owned the handgun and kept it at her home.

During the investigation, officers found that the telephone lines to the residence had been cut before Smith broke in. In addition, the investigation determined from telephone records that Smith had made several calls to the woman's residence that were consistent with her report of harassing contact from him. The woman had obtained a protective order against Smith, and there were two outstanding arrest warrants against him in connection with violations of the order, police said.

Because no charges were filed and the woman and her boyfriend were victims of burglary and assault, respectively, the sheriff's office did not release their names.

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