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Winter Haven Man Facing Charges Including Two Counts Of Attempted First Degree Murder Following Violent Event That Resulted In Two Men Suffering Serious Stab Wounds And The Death Of A Dog

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Release by Winter Haven Police Department

A Winter Haven man is facing a host of charges including two counts of Attempted First Degree Murder following a violent event that resulted in two men suffering stab wounds.

On Aug. 9, 2023 at approximately 2:10 a.m., Winter Haven Police responded to a 9-1-1 call at [redacted] (Abbey Lane Apartments) in Winter Haven. Two stabbing victims were located and they were both rushed to Lakeland Regional Medical Center with serious injuries where they both remain.  

Twenty-five year-old William Lee Smith (DOB 7-16-98) shares an apartment with a family member and they were in the apartment when Smith got into a confrontation and attempted to strangle the victim. He stopped when two males and a female came to the apartment and knocked on the door. Smith went to the bedroom while the other three entered the apartment and sat down talking with the family member. 

Smith attempted to get the female visitor to come to the bedroom to talk to him, but she said he needed to wait. He continued to ask her to come to the bedroom and became more and more upset when she told him to wait. A short time later, Smith came out of the bedroom with plastic wrapped around various parts of his body. He started attacking both males and a dog with a large knife with a rigid blade. The dog was brought by one of the victim’s.

As the attack continued, the victims were able to run out of the apartment through a back door and Smith ran out of the front door of the apartment. When officers arrived, they located Smith still wrapped in plastic and found the knife hidden in a bush just northwest from where he was located. 

The two male victims were taken to Lakeland Regional Health in serious, but stable condition where they remain. We are sad to report that the dog, a two year-old Pit Bull named “Bruiser” will not survive.

Initially, Smith refused to identify himself to officers. Smith was ultimately placed under arrest and transported to the Winter Haven Police Department.  

Smith was transported to the Polk County Jail and charges with:

Attempted Felony Murder w/Weapon (2) Counts FL

Tampering with Evidence (1) Count F3

Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon (2) Counts F3

Animal Cruelty-Torment  (1) Counts: M1

Domestic Viol-Battery  (1) Count: M1

Resist Officer without Violence (1) Count M1

*Recent bookin photo not available at this time. Bookin photo from 2020 arrest

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