Man stabs sister, sets home on fire during argument over spice, cops say

David Ulee Smith (Credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office)

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – A man is in custody after an argument over K-2, also known as “spice,” turned violent, and deputies say he intentionally set his family’s home on fire.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office released terrifying details into an incident that occurred earlier this week at a Winter Haven residence.

According to an affidavit, David Ulee Smith, 44 had been “raging” all morning because his dealer was unavailable, and he couldn’t get a hold of any K-2 to smoke.

His stepmother told detectives Smith grew angrier when she caught him smoking the substance.  She says she didn’t want him to smoking spice inside the home and told him to move out.

She told deputies her stepson left the room and began beating his live-in girlfriend. The stepmother told detectives she tried calling 911, but Smith attacked her. He allegedly pinned her down and started hitting her over the head with a closed fist. Deputies say the stepmother suffers from breast cancer and had undergone chemotherapy at the time of the attack.

The defendant’s sister, told detectives she was in the shower when she heard her mother yelling for someone to call 911. She also heard Smith making threats. “He was going to kill everybody and was not going to go to jail,” she told detectives.

When the sister left the shower, she watched her brother leave the bedroom and return with a knife in his hand. Then, she told detectives, her brother put a knife to her throat and the siblings began to struggle.

The stepmother told investigators she observed David throw his sister up against the wall before he repeatedly slammed her body against it, in an attempt to kill her.

David then stabbed his sister in her inner left thigh, right above the knee, leaving a 2 1/2 centimeter laceration, according to an affidavit.

She was eventually able to fight him off and hid the knife from Smith.

The victim’s father was sitting in his wheelchair when he heard the commotion.  The elder Smith said he tried to call 911, but his son grabbed the phone out of his hand.  The father then decided to go outside for assistance, but he couldn’t yell for help due to a recent stroke that limited his voice.  He says he observed the defendant pour gas all over the front porch of the residence.

The sister said she smelled gas from inside the home and observed the residence was on fire.

She was later transported to Lakeland Regional Health for treatment.

It’s unclear exactly how big this fire was and what kind of damage it caused, but an investigation determined there was sufficient probable cause to arrest Smith.

He was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with attempted felony murder, first-degree arson, domestic battery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with the victim.

No further details are available at this time.

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