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Thursday, February 29, 2024
Feb. 29, 2024

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Officials detail Salmon Creek homicide victim’s injuries

By , Columbian Local News Editor

A 58-year-old man killed during a Jan. 27 altercation in a Salmon Creek-area motel room died of blunt and sharp force head injuries, the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office said Monday.

Roger Hudyma’s death was ruled a homicide, meaning it resulted from another person’s deliberate action. The ruling does not make any judgments about criminal culpability.

The medical examiner’s office also noted severe coronary artery disease and methamphetamine use during Hudyma’s autopsy.

Jonathan D. Smith, 39, of Vancouver is facing a charge of second-degree murder stemming from the attack at the Sunnyside Motel, 12200 N.E. Highway 99. He appeared Jan. 30 in Clark County Superior Court and is being held on $2 million bail.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies responded shortly after 9 p.m. for a report of a disturbance in Room 31 at the motel. The caller said he heard his neighbors fighting, and someone was screaming to call the police, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

When deputies knocked, the door opened and Smith, with blood on his face and hands, crawled out. Deputies said Smith looked up at his girlfriend — who was standing with the 911 caller — and said, “He was trying to rape you, he was raping you,” the affidavit states.

Deputies found Hudyma, nude and lying on the bathroom floor; there was blood on the floor and walls, court records say.

Smith’s girlfriend told investigators the couple were hanging out at a friend’s trailer earlier in the day, and Hudyma picked them up and brought them to their motel room. Hudyma came inside and got into the shower, she said. She then went to the motel office, she said, when she heard screaming and returned to the room, according to the affidavit.

She saw Hudyma lying on the bathroom floor with Smith on top of him. She believed Hudyma was having a seizure and that Smith was helping him. She then saw Hudyma’s eye looked swollen, she said, and told Smith they needed an ambulance, court records say.