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Detective testifies slaying suspect told police 'you know what I did'

LAWRENCEVILLE - A 51-year-old Stone Mountain man facing a murder charge in connection with his wife's death allegedly admitted shooting her to a 911 dispatcher.

Robert Merrill Smith walked to a neighbor's house in Stone Mountain Mobile Home Park after an argument broke out between him and his wife on July 9, Detective J.D. Smith of the Gwinnett County Police Department testified during a Friday preliminary hearing.

Robert Smith reportedly told the neighbor he shot his wife, 41-year-old Jennifer Smith, but refused to let the woman go check on her. The neighbor called police instead and handed the phone to Robert Smith, who then told a dispatcher that he shot his wife twice, the detective testified.

Police arrived to find Jennifer Smith's body lying in a back bedroom of their single-wide mobile home. She was dead of gunshot wounds to the chest and neck.

A .45 caliber Ruger handgun was also recovered from the home. Robert Smith was arrested at the scene and transported to Gwinnett County Police headquarters for questioning.

He was belligerent, cursing at investigators, and said "you know what I did, just take me to jail," according to J.D. Smith's testimony. Robert Smith refused to give a statement after he was read a Miranda warning.

The police call history shows officers had been dispatched to Smith's mobile home two times earlier that day to mediate an argument, once by Jennifer Smith and once by her husband. There was no sign of physical violence, so no arrest was made and no initial incident report was written. Gwinnett County Police Department spokesman Cpl. Darren Moloney initially said officers had been called to the house only once prior to the shooting.

Gwinnett County Magistrate Judge Joseph Randazzo found probable cause to bind over a charge of felony murder to a grand jury for possible indictment. Smith is being held without bond at the Gwinnett jail.