Warrenville man shot in head last year dies

A Warrenville man hospitalized since he was shot in the head a year ago has died.


Aiken County authorities are awaiting autopsy results to determine whether Donald Lee Smathers died Friday as a result of the 2011 shooting.

Deputies were initially called to a home in the 500 block of Briar Patch Lane in Warrenville on Jan. 26, 2011, where they discovered Smathers, then 68, with a gunshot wound to the head.

Smathers’ wife, Tammy, told Aiken County sheriff’s deputies that a 50-year-old man had shot her husband and then drove away.

In March, after Smathers’ condition improved enough that he could discuss the incident, authorities charged Tammy Lee Smathers with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime.

She was booked into the Aiken County Detention Center and released on $80,000 bond.

Aiken County sheriff’s Capt. Troy Elwell said the victim’s condition never improved enough for him to go home.

If autopsy results prove the victim died as a result of the shooting, Elwell said, investigators will meet with the Solicitor’s Office to have the attempted murder charge upgraded to murder.

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