Left to right, Tavon Purnell Matthews and Tiffany Jade Smith

Waldorf, MD – A woman accused of the murder of her live-in boyfriend told investigators the shooting was an accident, court documents on file in the Maryland court system stated. The shooting, which occurred at the couple’s home in Waldorf late Sunday morning, Feb. 18, claimed the life of Tavon Purnell Matthews, 37. Tiffany Jade Smith, 31, has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault and firearm use in a felony/violent crime. Smith is currently being held without bond in the Charles County Detention Center.

According to a statement of probable cause filed by Charles County Sheriff’s Office investigator Detective B. Buchanan, police and emergency responders were called to the couple’s home around 11:25 a.m. Matthews was found in a bedroom “suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to his torso.” Matthews was transported to Charles Regional Medical Center “where he was pronounced dead at 12:15 p.m. During scene interviews, it was learned the defendant [Smith] and victim were heard involved in a heated argument in their bedroom. During the argument, gunshots were heard after which the defendant asked for help and said that the victim was bleeding.”

Smith was transported to the sheriff’s office to be interviewed by members of the agency’s criminal Investigations Division. “During the interview the defendant told detectives she and the victim were in the bedroom alone and began arguing,” Buchanan stated. “The defendant admitted to taking what she believed to be a BB gun from the victim just prior to the shooting and having a gun in her possession. The defendant couldn’t provide details about how the victim was shot but she did say it was an accident. The defendant denied having any knowledge of the shooting at first and then stated she thought the gun was a BB gun before finally admitting it was a real gun she had taken from the victim. A witness on scene admitted to taking a handgun from the area of the bedroom where the incident occurred and hiding the gun in the wooded area to the rear of the residence after the shooting.”

Buchanan stated in court documents that the recovered weapon was a Ruger 9mm.
Smith filed a request for a second bail review Feb. 23. A preliminary hearing on the charges she is facing has been tentatively scheduled for March 14 in District Court.
Matthews was the father of two daughters. The slain man’s family is trying to raise money for the daughters and for his funeral expenses. They have set up a GoFundMe page.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com