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Second man convicted in Antelope Valley slaying


LANCASTER, Calif.–A 34-year-old man–charged along with two other people, including former Raiders defensive end Anthony Wayne Smith, in an October 2008 killing–was convicted today of first-degree murder.

The Lancaster Superior Court jury deliberated about two days before returning its verdict against Dewann Wesley White, who is facing 25 years to life in state prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Taly Peretz.

White was charged in February 2011 along with Smith and a third man, Charles Eric Honest, both now 45, in the Oct. 7, 2008, shooting death of Maurilio Ponce, who was found dead in an unincorporated area of the northern Antelope Valley.

Honest–who had a 1996 conviction for manslaughter–was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced last month to 35 years to life in prison.

Jurors deadlocked April 18 on the murder charge against Smith, who was charged July 2 with three other murders while he was awaiting a retrial on Ponce’s killing.

Smith pleaded not guilty Aug. 1 to murder and kidnapping charges stemming from the Nov. 10, 1999, slayings of Kevin and Ricky Nettles, the June 25, 2001, killing of Dennis Henderson, along with Ponce’s killing more than seven years later.

The Nettles brothers were each shot, while Henderson was beaten and stabbed to death, according to Sandi Gibbons of the District Attorney’s Office.

The criminal complaint includes the special circumstance allegations of multiple murder and murder involving the infliction of torture on the Nettles brothers and Henderson.

Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Smith, who was the Raiders’ top pick in 1990 out of the University of Arizona.

He went on to play professional football with the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders between 1991 and 1997.

Smith was charged with arson in connection with the February 2003 firebombing of a Santa Monica furniture store, but a judge dismissed the case against him in December 2004 after two juries deadlocked–the second 11-1 in favor of acquittal.

Smith subsequently sued a Santa Monica police sergeant, contending that he was falsely arrested and maliciously prosecuted. A three-judge U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled 2-1 against Smith’s claim in October 2010.