Charges against Murray, KY man amended to murder in deadly assau - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Charges against Murray, KY man amended to murder in deadly assault of woman

Christopher Smith (Source: Calloway County Sheriff's Department) Christopher Smith (Source: Calloway County Sheriff's Department)
Rhonda Runyon (Source: Family) Rhonda Runyon (Source: Family)
CALLOWAY COUNTY, KY (KFVS) -

Charges against a Murray, Kentucky man have been amended to murder.

On November 1, the case was presented to the Calloway County Grand Jury and the charges were amended to murder.

Christopher Smith, 35, is currently at the Calloway County Detention Center where he was served the indictment warrant for murder. He is being held on a $1 million cash bond.

Smith previously waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

The case will now go to the grand jury. Smith will appear back in court on Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. after further review of the case.

Smith was charged with murder after assaulting Rhonda Runyon, 39, of Murray, in late August. Runyon later died from her injuries.

Smith made his first appearance in court on Monday, August 29, where the original assault charges were upgraded to murder.

According to family, Smith is the son of Runyon's friend.

Family relieved after charges upgraded

Runyon's ex-husband said they are glad the prosecuting attorney decided to upgrade Smith's charges.

"I wasn't very happy in the beginning, but I have a little hope after today that they will do the right thing," Chris Runyon said. "It was a relief to see that, you know, a little justice was done today."

Chris Runyon said he and Rhonda Runyon have three children, two grandchildren and another on the way.

He said their children are suffering the most.

"It's a tough time for friends and family, but gettin' through it," he said.

On Thursday

According to court documents, a caller told the Calloway County dispatch there was a woman bleeding from the head inside a mobile home on Marigold Road in Kirksey, Ky.

The caller reportedly told dispatch Christopher Smith was just there and he had blood on his shirt.

According to dispatch, they talked to Smith on the phone and he told them a woman put a knife to his throat while he was watching TV and tried to cut him. Smith allegedly said he had a cut on his throat, he "freaked out" and grabbed a horseshoe and hit her in the head trying to get away.

According to court documents, Smith then allegedly got a baseball bat and hit her with it because he believed he was still in danger.

Smith allegedly told dispatch the bat was taken to another location on Marigold Road, but that he believed the knife and the horseshoe were still at the mobile home.

In the court document, it states when deputies arrived, Smith came out from the inside of his grandmother's home, which is located on the same property as the mobile home.

Smith was detained at that time.

Deputies then went to the mobile home and found a woman believed to be Rhonda Runyon lying on the floor beside the couch in the living room.

They say she was lying face down on the floor, covered from the middle of her back down with a sheet and blanket.

Runyon allegedly had a black-handled kitchen knife in her left hand.

Deputies say she was breathing, but appeared to be unconscious and was unable to communicate with them.

Runyon was treated at the scene by first responders. Shortly after their arrival, Air Evac was notified and evacuated Runyon for critical care.

Deputies talked to Smith's grandmother.

According to court documents, she told them Smith had brought a broken bat over to her house and was found behind the chair with what appeared to be blood on it.

Smith was then taken to the Calloway County Detention Center.

During an interview, deputies say Smith told them he and Runyon were watching the football game. He said he was lying on the couch and she was sitting in the chair and asked him if he wanted something to drink.

According to court documents, Smith said he then rolled over and she had a knife to his throat.

Smith stated he grabbed the knife and her hair and they began fighting between the couch and coffee table. Court documents state he told deputies he was able to get on top of Runyon and grab a horseshoe that was beside the front door.

He allegedly said he hit Runyon in the head twice with the horseshoe and was lying face down on the floor near the front door.

According to court documents, he said he was able to get up and that Runyon was trying to get up, so he grabbed a baseball bat and hit her "one good time over the head."

Calloway County Deputy Richard Palmer said Ruyon died from her injuries on Saturday morning, Aug. 27 at a Nashville, Tenn. hospital.

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