New London teen facing adult criminal charges in two states

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Adonis Smith won't turn 18 until Aug. 25, but he's already facing adult criminal charges in two states.

It appears the 17-year-old New London resident will be tried in Connecticut first, then Rhode Island.

New London police retrieved Smith from the Adult Correctional Institution in Cranston, R.I., on Tuesday morning and delivered him to New London Superior Court, where he was arraigned on a charge of failure to appear in court.

Out on bond in April 2019 on drug and weapons charges from New London that were considered too serious to be heard in juvenile court, Smith allegedly cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and fled to Woonsocket, R.I.

Rhode Island State Police, working with Connecticut authorities, arrested him as a fugitive from justice May 3 at a home in Woonsocket, where they said he was in possession of a gun and narcotics.

He remained imprisoned in Rhode Island, and on Aug. 13 waived extradition to Connecticut.

Smith was arraigned before New London Superior Court Judge Hillary B. Strackbein on Tuesday on a charge of failure to appear in court. He wore street clothes when he was presented in court. He stood with attorney Kevin C. Barrs from the public defender's office, but said he would be hiring a private attorney.

"I just need to get on the phone with my mom," he said.

The judge read Smith his rights and entered a not guilty plea. She kept Smith's bond at $200,000, but ordered that he could only post it from court. 

Prosecutor Paul J. Narducci said he may ask for a bond review hearing if Smith attempts to post the $200,000, which was the same amount Smith had posted when he failed to appear in court in April.

"Mr. Smith fled the state and was apprehended, it appears, with a weapon," Narducci said.

In Rhode Island, Smith faces charges of possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.

In the Connecticut case, New London police said that in August 2018 they seized from him almost 15 grams of marijuana, 2.6 grams of crack cocaine and a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol. He was charged with carrying a pistol without a permit and distribution of a controlled substance.

His case was transferred from juvenile court to adult court based on the seriousness of the charges and Smith's prior history. His next court date is Sept. 13.

k.florin@theday.com

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