Prisoner charged in Windblow assault

By: By William R. Toler -

TROY — An Anson County man already in prison was recently charged in the assault and attempted robbery of a Windblow store owner in October.

Blair Smith, of Wadesboro, is accused of beating Bobby Williams — owner of Williams Grocery — on Oct. 21, according to Montgomery County Sheriff Chris Watkins.

Smith allegedly went to the store in the early morning hours as Williams was opening the store, claiming to be out of gas and needing a gas can for fuel, the sheriff told the Daily Journal in an email last week. While assisting who he thought was a customer, Watkins said Williams was beaten in the head with a tire tool.

The would-be robber was scared away when a friend of Williams arrived at the store, Watkins said.

“Both Montgomery County and Richmond County sheriff’s offices were sent to the scene, where they conducted searches and an investigations into the robbery,” he continued. “One of the items collected at the scene was the robber’s baseball cap.”

Watkins said his office submitted the cap to the N.C. Crime Lab, where agents were able to collect DNA from the item and match it an individual in the Offenders DNA Database.

“This information led investigators to find and question Blair Smith,” he said. “Through search warrants, additional evidence collected and submitted to the N.C. Crime Lab the lab confirmed their findings.”

Blair is currently serving time for a Dec. 2 conviction of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury in Anson County, according to records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction.

Warrants were issued for his arrest in the Windblow case on Monday, Watkins said.

“The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is most appreciative to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, the Richmond (County) Daily Journal and the people of the Windblow Community,” he concluded. “Each supported us in our efforts to find and bring to justice the person who attached Mr. Williams. Crime and criminals do not stop at county lines, and therefore we as law enforcement agencies must do the same though strong partnerships and communications, this is just an example of those partnerships.”

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_toler.

By William R. Toler