Friday, January 19, 2018
Public safety

Corn dog dispute linked to St. Petersburg man's stabbing death

ST. PETERSBURG — Police say a man killed his roommate Tuesday morning during an argument over a missing corn dog.

Anthony Kimball Smith, 56, died after he was stabbed once in the chest by a man 20 years his junior, police said.

That man, Corey Lamont Walker, 36, was arrested on a second-degree murder charge.

"It's hard to imagine someone taking a life over something so trivial," police spokesman Mike Puetz said.

Both men lived at 2860 First Ave. S, a transitional living residence run by New Faith Free Methodist Church. The pastor there could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Authorities said someone called 911 around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday to report a stabbing at the home, where detectives said about four or five people lived. The caller said the attacker was still in the home and still armed with a knife.

A neighbor described seeing a woman run into the street yelling for help.

"I heard screaming and jumped up," said Wayne Lindsay, 29, who lives next door. "The lady was standing in the middle of the street. She had stopped traffic."

Lindsay called 911. Emergency vehicles and police cruisers swarmed the area.

He and other neighbors watched as paramedics brought an injured man out on a stretcher.

"He looked pretty bad," said neighbor Michael Booth, 56. "He had a lot of blood all over him."

Officers said they arrested Walker without incident. Two other residents were taken to the police station to be interviewed.

Detectives said Walker told other residents food had been stolen from his room.

"It appears that somebody pilfered a corn dog from him," Puetz said. "He was the only one there with corn dogs."

At first, police said, Walker pointed the finger at a female friend of Smith's who was at the home. Then he turned on his roommate, grabbing a butcher knife from the kitchen at some point.

"They went back and forth, and that's when the guy got stabbed," Puetz said.

Officers found a knife in the sink.

Authorities said the home caters to people from different backgrounds, some homeless, others with addiction or mental problems, police said.

It was unclear what landed Smith and Walker at the home or how long they'd been living there.

Residents said Smith had fallen on hard times but had turned his life around. He worked at a local nursing home; public records showed he was a certified nursing assistant.

Walker served nearly two years in prison from 2006 to 2008 for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, records show. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, his criminal history also includes arrests on charges of drug possession, battery and obstruction.

Smith's only brush with the law was in the 1970s for a robbery, records show.

Smith's family arrived a few hours after the stabbing. As police told them what had happened, they sank to their knees and cried.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report.

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