New details in northwest Reno murder investigation

Darnell Solis Smith. Washoe County jail photo.
Darnell Solis Smith. Washoe County jail photo.(KOLO)
Published: Jan. 10, 2020 at 4:34 PM PST
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Court documents reveal new details into a northwest Reno murder investigation, in which a man is accused of killing his father over an alleged affair with the suspect's girlfriend.

Darnell Smith, 36, was arrested January 10, 2020 on suspicion of open murder in the death of James H. Smith, 75, and for being a sex offender failing to register.

Police said they were called to a home at 1345 Stardust St. #2 on January 7 for a welfare check. The responding officer spoke to Darnell who said his father was on a trip to New Orleans.

Police were called for a second welfare check on January 9, and found James dead in the living room, wrapped in blankets. Darnell was found in a bedroom and was arrested.

In an interview, investigators say Darnell admitted to killing his father, saying he believed his father and girlfriend were having a secret relationship, and that his father had offered Darnell's girlfriend money for sexual favors.

According to court documents, Darnell attacked his father in their apartment and slammed his head into the floor five times.

The Washoe County Medical Examiner's Office determined James died from blunt force trauma to the head and ruled it a homicide.

The investigation continues. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 775-334-2188 or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900 or by going to

. People who make tips to Secret Witness can remain anonymous.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020

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