Man Sets Home On Fire, Killing A 4-Year-Old, Her Mother And A 58-Year-Old Woman, Then Says 'They Made Me Do It'

(Photo: Allegheny County Jail)

Man Sets Home On Fire, Killing A 4-Year-Old, Her Mother And A 58-Year-Old Woman, Then Says 'They Made Me Do It'

Martell Smith made past Facebook videos ranting about Black women being "the No. 1 cause of mental abuse."

Published December 22, 2017

A Pittsburgh man was arrested on charges of homicide and arson after setting a home on fire and killing a 4-year-old girl and two other women on Wednesday. 

Police believe 41-year-old Martell Smith executed the fiery attack in retaliation to a fistfight outside a Penn Hills nightclub, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. After the fire, Smith was heard by witnesses confessing to the crime.

"Yep, yep, I did it. They shouldn't [mess] with me," Smith uttered, a witness told police.  

Investigators believe Smith was trying to get back at a man who he’d engaged in a fight with; however, the man was not at home when the fire began, police said. Instead, the man’s mother, Sandra Carter Douglas, 58, was killed as well as his girlfriend, Shamira Staten, 21, and her daughter, Chy'enne Manning, 4. Sandra’s husband, Cecil Douglas, 58, climbed out a second-story window and jumped to safety, breaking his ankle.

According to a service station surveillance video, Smith bought a can of gasoline at a service station “just prior” to the blaze, according to the criminal complaint. The gasoline was purchased after Smith and the man at the bar had a fight.

After the fire, a different witness heard Smith say, "I heard Sandra was in there...She's dead... Oh, well. That's life. They made me do it."

This witness took a photo of Smith and a woman he was with and sent it to police, according to the complaint. Investigators found Smith and Tiasia Malloy, 26, sitting in a car about two blocks from the fire. Malloy was later charged with aggravated assault against a police officer and resisting arrest.

Smith was charged Thursday with multiple counts of homicide, arson and endangerment. He is being held in the Allegheny County Jail.

Additionally, Smith made several concerning Facebook posts and videos in the time leading up to the killings. In one Facebook video from Nov. 13, Smith says “Black women’s mouths is probably the No. 1 cause of mental abuse in the world ... on the planet.” 

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Allegheny County Jail)


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