Coach killed by 15-year-old ‘nephew,’ police say; more than $7,000 found in boy’s jeans

Mother tells police teen admitted to shooting at coach’s home

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – A Miami Senior High School football coach was murdered with his own gun by a teen who he considered to be his nephew, according to an arrest affidavit. It was the 15-year old’s mother who went to police two days after the killing to tell them the boy admitted to her that he shot Corey Smith.

Smith, 46, was found dead in his West Little River home at 9:30 a.m. Monday. Detectives believe he was shot several times about 9:10 a.m.

Miami-Dade Police said the other person inside Smith’s West Little River home when paramedics and police arrived Monday morning was the teenager.

The teen told police that he was in the bathroom when he heard “approximately three shots.” He said that’s when he found Smith, whom he considered an uncle, dead on the floor. He called his mother first and she then called 911. But through their investigation, detectives said that no one else had entered the home at any point.

The arrest affidavit stated: “A review of the surveillance video camera footage revealed that no other individuals entered the residential driveway, which leads to the front entry door of the residence.”

Two days after Smith was killed and detectives had interviewed family, the teen’s mother reached out to police asking for another meeting. The affidavit stated that “during the interview, the defendant’s mother stated that the defendant confessed to her that he had killed his uncle, the victim.”

The teen was taken into custody Thursday.

He is facing a second degree murder charge.

Law enforcement said he is the son of Lamar Alexander, one of two suspects killed in the hijacking of a UPS truck driver last December. The pursuit ended with a Dec. 5 shootout in Miramar. Alexander, 41, and three others died.

Smith told Local 10 in December after the Miramar shooting that Alexander was his brother and that, “He just made bad decisions in life and it cost him.” Investigators said Alexander and Smith were not blood related, but grew up together. Smith considered him to be like a brother, according to police.

As for why the teen would kill a man he considered his uncle? There is no word on a motive, but detectives said they did find more than $7,000 of Smith’s money hidden in the 15-year-old boy’s clothes. Detectives discovered jeans containing $7,450 inside the pocket that were discovered inside of a plastic garbage bag inside the home.

Detectives detailed through their investigation how the murder happened: “Between the hours 7:52 a.m. and 9:12 a.m., the defendant obtained the victim’s 9mm Beretta firearm, approached the victim as he was inside of the den area of the residence, and fired multiple gunshots at the victim.”

The state has 21 days to decide if he will be charged as an adult. His attorney said that he has a prior psychological history and hopes that doesn’t happen. The attorney said that the teen fell through the cracks despite all of his family’s efforts to get him help.

A statement from the Rod Vereen, the teenager’s attorney, read: “I am hopeful that, because the State is aware of this child’s prior psychological history, the State Attorney Office will do the right thing and keep this case in the juvenile division. The family, admittedly, does not know the facts or what occurred here, other than the limited statement allegedly made by an incompetent child. What is a fact, is that the family has been seeking help for this child for years and somehow this child, like many others, fell through the cracks. The family has hired me to seal those cracks and help get this child the help he needs and see that he is treated fairly by the criminal justice and properly represented, no matter what the allegations.”

Smith started to work with Miami-Dade County Public Schools in 1999, and he also taught at Charles Drew Middle School in Miami-Dade’s Brownsville neighborhood. Tyrone Hilton said it was Smith’s dream job. He credited him with propelling his son’s career. T.Y. Hilton, an NFL wide receiver, plays with the Indianapolis Colts.

About the Authors:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local