Ex-Raider Smith among three charged in 2008 SoCal killing

Former Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Anthony Wayne Smith appeared in court Friday to face a murder charge in the 2008 beating and shooting death of a man in northern Los Angeles County, authorities said.

Smith, 43, of Fontana, Calif., who played defensive end for the Raiders in Los Angeles and Oakland from 1991 to 1998, is one of three men charged in the killing of 31-year-old Maurilio Ponce, district attorney's officials announced Friday.

Smith was arrested earlier this week and was being held on $1 million bail, district attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said. His arraignment was delayed until March 17.

Ponce was beaten and shot several times on Oct. 7, 2008, in Lancaster, and his body was dumped near the Antelope Valley poppy fields some 11 miles away, Deputy District Attorney Michael Blake said.

After a Sheriff's Department investigation of more than two years, a felony complaint citing Smith was filed Feb. 16. Authorities did not offer a motive for the killing.

A judge also delayed arraignments until March 17 for Smith's two alleged associates, who are facing the same charge: Charles Eric Honest, 41, of Los Angeles, and Dewann Wesley, 32, of San Bernardino County, Deputy District Attorney Michael Blake said.

The judge appointed public defenders for Smith and Honest and was expected to appoint a lawyer for White. A message left with the public defender's office was not immediately returned.

Smith played college football for Alabama and Arizona, and was the Raiders' first-round draft pick -- 11th overall -- in the 1990 NFL draft. He played in 98 games (with 49 starts) and posted double-digit sack totals in his first three seasons, including a career-best 13 in 1992. He had 57.5 sacks and 190 tackles in his career.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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