VANCOUVER -- A Clark County judge has set bail at $1 million for the man accused of running down and killing two women, then fleeing the scene.
Brandon C. Smith, 27, of Vancouver, is accused of running down Raisa Mosh, 45, and Irena Gardinant, 28, the evening of Jan. 19 as they crossed Northeast Vancouver Mall Drive at Northeast 72nd Avenue. Mosh's son was also hurt in the incident.Clark County Superior Court Judge Barbara D. Johnson declined to release Smith on his own recognizance after probable cause documents described the unemployed millwright as a callous flight risk who fled the scene of the crime, tried to cover up his involvement and discouraged witnesses from coming forward.
Prosecutor Kasey Vu said he asked for the high bail “due to the serious nature of the charges in this case, the callousness, as well as Mr. Smith’s acting to thwart law enforcement efforts.”
The judge also set Smith’s formal arraignment Feb. 7, the same date his two co-defendants -- his mother and girlfriend -- will be arraigned. Linda D. Smith, 63, and Kalista Andino, 21, are charged with witness tampering after the collision.
Probable cause documents made public at a hearing Thursday morning revealed witnesses have helped link Smith to the crash.
Witnesses reported Smith, Andino and their five-month-old child had attended an NFC championship game party to watch the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers on the afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 19.
After the game ended around 7 p.m., about an hour before the crash, witnesses saw Smith, Andino and their baby Robin leave together in Smith's white 2007 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. Additional witnesses later saw the vehicle near Smith’s parents’ home in 2800-block of Northwest Madrona Street of Vancouver around 9:30 p.m.
According to the probable cause documents, the male driver “could be seen looking at and physically doing something to the front of the truck” while it was near his parents' home. A witness picked Smith’s photo out of a lineup as the driver.On the Monday after the crash, a shopper using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org allegedly placed an order on Amazon.com for a black and chrome grille assembly plastic shell and a pair of chrome headlights, to be shipped to the apartment Smith shared with Andino and their child.
A search warrant and probable cause documents indicate police found evidence of the purchase on a silver laptop computer recovered from the couple's apartment.
Smith has been unemployed for 18 months and has family living in Canada. Defense attorney Jonny McMullen said that Smith had lived almost his entire life in Vancouver and was “no flight risk. He would have left if he was going to.”
Smith had been a suspect in the hit-and-run for several days but authorities had trouble charging him until Wednesday because they had trouble getting evidence to do so.Vu said that law enforcement was stymied by people with information in the case who refused to cooperate, including Smith’s girl friend and his mother. Some eye witnesses also have not come forward, he said.
“We’re asking for people to do the right thing and come forward,” said Vu. “Two lives ended and at 12-year-old essentially witnessed his mother die.”
The 12-year-old Vu mentioned is Mosh’s son Mark, who remained in a wheelchair Thursday with an injured leg and broken hand.
-- Kimberly A.C. Wilson