Former roommates testify Jeffrey Smith feared Remzi Nesfield – Canon City Daily Record

Jeffrey Smith’s former roommates testified on Monday that the man charged with the 2007 murder of Remzi Nesfield was increasingly afraid of him and had no other way of getting out of his control.

Smith, 39, told investigators he shot Nesfield “once in the neck” inside the Denver garage of Jasmine Ashcraft, who was Nesfield’s girlfriend, in early 2007 after Nesfield allegedly threatened to kill Smith’s mother and father.

Smith then placed Nesfield in the flat area of ​​his truck and then dumped him in a wooded area far from Cotopaxi. Nesfield’s skeletal remains were found by a hiker in September 2016. His identity was later confirmed by a DNA match with the Arizona Offender Database.

Matthew Mckan was Smith’s “combat buddy” as they served as combat medics in Baghdad. They became roommates when they returned to Colorado and were stationed at Fort Carson.

There were several other people living in the house and quite a few parties involving alcohol and drugs. Mckan said Nesfield was the ecstasy supplier for the parties.

Over time, Mckan said Smith found himself in a situation he couldn’t get out of when it came to his relationship with Nesfield.

“Over time it intensified,” he said during Smith’s trial on Monday. “At first it was his life in danger, and over time it escalated into his family’s lives in danger.”

Smith returned home one night, Mckan said, and told him he shot Nesfield in the back of the neck with a pistol earlier in the day.

“He told me it was his life or the life of Mr Nesfield,” he said, adding that he had not reported the statement to authorities. “… I haven’t seen this myself. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I believed it or not, Jeff was always full of intense stories, most of which I was never around so I couldn’t tell if they were true or not. I thought that was another crazy story – it was almost hard to believe.

Christopher Ross also testified to Smith telling him in 2006 that he was in danger of being killed by Nesfield.

“Absolutely, on several occasions he has expressed that he felt he had no choice but to what he was doing or was obligated to do in regards to the drugs and illegal activities that Mr. Nesfield was forcing him to participate, “he said. “He certainly felt his life was in danger and in danger if he didn’t comply with his demands and he felt like he would potentially be killed for it. Either (Nesfield) (would execute the threats) or he knew someone who had the capacity to make this a reality.

He recalled a time when Smith came home from work on a Friday, very distraught and very “laser focused.” Smith left and did not return until early the following Monday morning.

“He told us he was forced by Remzi to go straight to Las Vegas to pick something up and go home, and he had to do it without sleeping all weekend,” Ross said. “This was around the time when I really felt like Mr. Nesfield had complete control over Jeff and what he was doing.”

He said Smith had to pick up drugs, and that was around the same time Smith was expressing his fear of Nesfield, he said.

“He has expressed his fear on several occasions,” he said.

Detective Peter Rasmussen said that in the fall of 2006, Smith took Nesfield with him to California to help him get his furniture back to Colorado.

“If the victim was so threatening, if (Smith) was so afraid of him, why did he invite him to go to California, to the parents of the accused to help him move things?” Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Drake said during oral argument. . “There’s also a time during that time that they’re going to Vegas. The accused never told the officers about it, but today we learn that he was forced to go to Vegas.

She said there was no way Smith would defend anyone, that there was no imminent threat to him or his parents, and that there was no evidence that Nesfield was even armed at the time of the shooting.

“(Smith) got in there with a gun in his belt, found an opportunity where Remzi Nesfield wasn’t looking and shot him in the back of the neck,” Drake said.

Smith’s public defender Jason Kosloski, however, said Smith reacted in a split second to a serious threat from a serious man.

“He reacted to a threat from a man whom he knew had the capacity to carry out that threat,” he said. “Jeffery Smith is not guilty.”

He said Smith’s actions were in self-defense.

“The trip to Las Vegas is just one example you can bring back to the deliberation room of how Remzi Nesfield controlled Jeff Smith,” Kosloski said. “… It was something Jeff felt he had to do because it was something Remzi was forcing him to do.” The relationship has gone from friendship to something much more dangerous for Jeff. He started to feel like he had to do what Remzi had told him to do “or else”.