FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. -- A widow is fighting to put the man accused of murdering her husband behind bars.
Last fall, decorated Sergeant Major Randy Smith was shot in the head by a teenager who lived next door to the family's rental property.
Now, his wife of 33 years has started a petition hoping to reverse a bond decision and put the suspected gunman back in jail.
Back in September of 2016, Smith was found dead and his body tossed away in a trash can. Unlike other murder cases, the suspect is out on bond in the comfort of his home awaiting trial instead of behind bars - a decision that has his widow livid.
“I’m disturbed; I wouldn't say it's eating me alive but I'm very disturbed because I thought that when someone goes before the grand jury and they're indicted for murder, I thought it meant something,” she said.
Still, in mourning but on a mission Angela Smith wants Tarik Vasquez behind bars now - not later. She hopes this petition will help.
“I’m just out every weekend collecting signatures,” she said.
Vasquez is accused of killing Randy, who she described as a loving husband and disabled veteran. Angela said the savage way her husband was murdered should not garner a home arrest.
“Don’t let him look at T.V. and enjoy home and you have people locked up for marijuana and mental health clients locked up in jail and you have an indicted murderer just sitting at home,” she said.
And the more than 3,000 people who've signed this petition agree.
"My grandchildren are terrified,” she said. “They can't understand why he can kill their grandfather and not be in jail.”
Hers is a plea so compelling even Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard has weighed in stating in part:
"The defendant in this case should never have received a bond in this matter. Defendants charged with murder should not receive bonds from unelected magistrates"
There's a status hearing set for Thursday. Smith hopes the number of signatures and support from local leaders will help her cause.
11Alive reached out to Vasquez's attorney. We were told he’s retained new counsel starting Thursday at that hearing.
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