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Thursday, November 30, 2023
Nov. 30, 2023

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Ex-con held on $2M bail in Salmon Creek area motel killing

Prosecution says man has lengthy criminal history

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

Prosecutors say a Vancouver man accused in a deadly attack at a Salmon Creek area motel had just been released from prison after serving a 10-year sentence for second-degree assault.

Jonathan D. Smith, 39, appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of second-degree murder stemming from the Friday night disturbance at the Sunnyside Motel, 12200 N.E. Highway 99.

The prosecution said Smith has a lengthy criminal history, including prior assault convictions — some for domestic violence. He was released from prison in December.

Judge Robert Lewis granted the prosecution’s request that Smith be held on $2 million bail. Smith is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 10.

The victim is identified in court records as 58-year-old Roger J. Hudyma. The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office said it will likely not have Hudyma’s official identification and cause and manner of death until next week.

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 a man, with blood on his face and hands, crawled out. Deputies said the man, later identified as 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 a second man, nude and lying on the bathroom floor; there was blood on the floor and walls. He was tentatively identified as Hudyma, based on identification found on the floor in the room and an angel tattoo on his left forearm, court records say.

Smith was detained and declined to speak with investigators without an attorney. An ambulance crew treated him for superficial wounds on his head, according to the affidavit.

The neighbor told deputies he heard loud screaming and banging coming from the room, and he believed Smith was beating his girlfriend. No one responded when he knocked on the door, he said. A short time later, Smith’s girlfriend arrived and went into the room, the neighbor said, she then quickly exited and told him to call 911, the affidavit states.

Deputies said when they interviewed Smith’s girlfriend, she “was all over the place and could not speak in linear thought patterns.” She initially said she left the room to get Band-Aids, leaving Smith and Hudyma — whom she knew as “Don” — there. When she returned, she saw them fighting, and Smith was holding something with a black handle, court records say.

The woman initially told deputies “he” was trying to rape her, but she couldn’t say who. She then said nobody had tried to rape her, but Smith had “thrown that out there,” the affidavit states.

In a later interview, the woman told investigators she and Smith 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 had gone to the motel office to get a sewing kit, 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.

“I am not sure what happened, but I think Jon thought that Don raped me. Don never raped me,” the affidavit reads.

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