Columbus widow arrested, charged with husband's murder - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus widow arrested, charged with husband's murder

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Rebecca Smith Haynie, 44. Photo source: Muscogee County Sheriff's Office Rebecca Smith Haynie, 44. Photo source: Muscogee County Sheriff's Office
Donald Keith Phillips, 35. Photo source: Muscogee County Sheriff's Office Donald Keith Phillips, 35. Photo source: Muscogee County Sheriff's Office
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A Columbus widow has been arrested, and accused of killing her husband ten years after he was murdered.

According to Columbus Police, William "Kirby" Smith was found murdered in his auto shop at 1438 Jacqueline Drive on March 8, 2004. There was no sign of a struggle or robbery. The office safe was left untouched, and Kirby had a large amount of money on his person.

Smith's widow, Rebecca Smith Haynie, 44, was arrested and charged with the murder on Thursday, June 5, 2014, along with another suspect, 35-year-old Donald Keith Phillips. They both pleaded not guilty in Recorder's Court.

Kirby Smith and Rebecca Smith Haynie were separated at the time of the murder. Detectives say they were in the middle of a bitter divorce and fought over money, property, and custody of their son. Authorities believe money was the motive behind Kirby's murder.  

"Rebecca had already told others that she was not going to get any money in the divorce because Kirby had so much against her. Investigators learned that Rebecca had talked to her boyfriend Heath Haynie about hiring someone to kill Kirby. Rebecca made several statements that she would like to see Kirby dead," Sgt. Matt Blackstock testified in court.

A family member tells News Leader 9 that Kirby had a $250,000 life insurance policy.

Police say these arrests were based on the combined efforts of the Columbus Police Department's Robbery/Assault unit as well as the Muscogee County District Attorney's Office and the television program Cold Justice.

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