FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Thursday afternoon, Alaska State Troopers arrested Ryder Alan Smith, 22, of Fairbanks and charged him with the murder of Peter Horace-Wright. According to charging documents, Smith told troopers that he had shot Horace-Wright after being attacked.
Ryder Alan Smith appeared via video from the Fairbanks Correctional Center for his arraignment where he pleaded not guilty to murder. (John Dougherty/KTVF)
In an interview after the shooting, Smith allegedly told troopers that he had met Horace-Wright at a gas station around two hours before the shooting and had gone to Badger Towing to look at a truck that Horace-Wright wanted to buy.
Then, Smith said that Horace-Wright attacked him for no reason and began strangling him. Smith said he got away, retrieved his father’s shot gun and after a short struggle, shot him three times.
Troopers found Peter's cell phone at the scene which had a video that allegedly discredits Smith's story. The video shows Smith walking up to Peter's truck with a shot gun. Horace-Wright can be heard telling Smith that this is live. Smith then says he doesn’t care and shoots the truck with the shotgun.
The cell phone is then dropped but audio can still be heard. Charging documents say that after several seconds of the two being in the shop, the first shot is heard, and Peter begins to scream. Shortly after three more shots are heard. Peter continues to scream and ask for help for a period of time.
The phones audio then reveals that Smith calls his father before calling 911.
Smith has been charged with First Degree murder and evidence tampering in the case. He was arraigned Friday and entered a not guilty plea.
Judge Matthew Christian did not give him bail at this time.
During the hearing Horace-Wright’s mother spoke saying that he took everything from them and that he needs to be kept in jail to keep Fairbanks safe. At one point during her testimony, Smith interjected claiming he wouldn’t have shot Horace-Wright if he hadn’t been attacked.
We interviewed Peter’s family and will bring you that story next week.
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