A preliminary hearing for 19 year old Matthew Gonzalez was held on Friday morning in the Cherokee County courtroom of Judge Wes Mobley.
Gonzalez is accused of killing 45 year old Matthew Lee Smith during the overnight hours of Saturday, December 2nd at a residence on County Road 326 in Piedmont. Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Investigators and Deputies responded to the location and found Smith in the living room of the home suffering a gunshot wound to the head; he was pronounced dead at the scene by County Coroner Dr. Jeremy Deaton. One of the victim’s dogs was found shot to death on the living room couch and another shot and injured in the driveway of the home.
Afterwards, Gonzalez left in the victim’s vehicle and was arrested in Dallas, Georgia after he was pulled over for DUI by the Georgia State Patrol in the early morning hours of Sunday. A 9mm pistol was recovered from the vehicle. He was interviewed later that day by Cherokee County Chief Investigator Josh Summerford and Investigator Michael Green. He was later extradited back to Cherokee County where he remains in the Detention Center without bail.
Investigator Green took the stand Friday morning and for several minutes he recounted the events of that night, also covering a written statement given by Gonzalez while he was being interviewed at the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia. Sheriff Jeff Shaver also briefly took the stand. Afterwards following a few moments of deliberation Judge Wes Mobley announced that the defendant would be bound over to face a grand jury.
We’ll continue to follow this case as it develops.