A Marine staff sergeant was found dead after he killed his estranged wife’s boyfriend. His estranged wife then shot and killed the Marine staff sergeant in self-defense, according to The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney.
Staff Sgt. Cody Wade Smith, 33, and Gregory Pearce, 43, of Jacksonville, were found dead inside a burning home near Richlands, North Carolina on Haw Branch Road on Aug. 27.
Smith was a Camp Lejeune Marine serving with 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. He had returned from a deployment to Europe just a few weeks before the double homicide. The 15-year Marine had deployed twice to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq as well.
In a press conference, sheriff’s office officials said that his wife, Monica Rose Smith, 32, served her husband with a civil summons about divorce proceedings on August 11.
Cody Smith arranged to meet with his wife on August 27 so that he could drop off some personal property, but he came to the house with an intent to murder his wife. He came to the house around 5:00 pm with duct tape, lighter fluid, rope, handcuffs, two loaded guns and a can of gasoline in his car.
At around 5:30 pm, his wife asked him to leave, but instead, he tied her up with rope and handcuffs. He then took his wife’s phone to text her boyfriend, Gregory Pearce, to come over to the house. He came over a half hour later and found Monica Smith tied up. He attempted to call 911 but was shot and killed by Cody Smith.
Smith then set the house on fire using the lighter fluid after he untied his wife.
According to Major Chris Thomas of the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, she managed to get free and get a hold of the handgun that was used to kill Pearce. She then fired a shot at her husband, killing him. She then called 911 after stepping outside of the burning home.
There are no charges being filed against her according to District Attorney Ernie Lee.
“Monica Rose Smith held what objectively appears to be reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury to herself,” Lee said at a news conference.
The bodies of both men were found inside the home.