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Warren Co. trial reveals new possible cause of death

News 18 has learned of a new possible cause of death in the murder case against Scottie Kincade in Warren County. He's accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and setting her house on fire.

Posted: Jan. 10, 2018 6:32 PM
Updated: Jan. 10, 2018 6:36 PM

WARREN COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — News 18 has learned of a new possible cause of death in the murder case against Scottie Kincade in Warren County. He's accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and setting her house on fire.

In 2016, court documents revealed Heather Smith died from smoke inhalation and superheated air.

However, upon review, a new pathologist has come up with a different conclusion about how she was killed.

We are now hearing Heather Smith's death was caused by homicidal violence and thermal injury.

However, it is still believed she was unconscious at the time of the fire. This is according to Dr. Thomas Sozio.

He did a review of the autopsy performed by Dr. Allen Griggs in 2016.

Sozio told the jury he couldn't conclude whether the homicidal violence was from a gunshot, stabbing, or blunt force trauma because 95 percent of her body was badly burned.

However, he showed photos of Smith's airway.

Sozio believes Smith couldn't have set the fire herself because there would have been a large amount of soot in her airway.

He only found a small amount.

Sozio says evidence shows Smith was barely breathing and alive at the time of the fire.

Kincade's attorney asked if it was possible Smith lit the fire and then used the rifle found near her body to shoot herself.

Sozio said yes, but said it was highly unlikely.

Smith's brother's girlfriend told us she's disgusted by the way Kincade is behaving himself during his trial.

"He just kind of, skipping, hee-hawing around. Laughing and smiling. Shirt's wrinkled and not tucked in. It was really like he wasn't taking it serious," said Melissa Montgomery.

The jury saw several photos of Smith's badly burned body.

They heard from an arson investigator about how the fire originated in the bedroom and hallway where her body was found.

A K-9 alerted accelerants in that area and the investigator said the burn patterns were consistent with gasoline poured on the bed, Smith's body and the hallway.

Several other witnesses spoke about Smith's alleged abusive relationship with Kincade and her plans to get away from him.

As a testimony to this, many people in the courtroom were wearing purple ribbons representing domestic violence awareness.

That's because friends and family of Smith believe Heather was being abused by Kincade for years before he allegedly killed her.

In fact, the morning of Smith's death, she had an appointment with Lyndsey Salts.

Salts is a mental health therapist who says she was helping Smith cope with repercussions from her previous abusive relationship with Kincade.

She said Smith was happy that day and was excited to start a new job to better support her three kids.

But she was worried about the mental state of her own children who allegedly saw their father, Kincade, abuse Smith.

Smith's brother's girlfriend says she's disgusted by the fact Kincade has been seen smiling and showing no remorse during the trial.

"You can see the way it has affected people and he who is supposed to be the father of her three kids just acts like it's nothing," said Montgomery.

The jury also heard from Katie Foust, a good friend of Smith who had plans to see her the day she died.

Foust talked about how she witnessed Kincade's abuse throughout the years and saw Smith with two black eyes and a busted lip.

She also heard Kincade make threats including, "You know I could get away with murder in this town," and "She's not going anywhere with my children."

There was a lot of talk about Smith's potential plans to move away but that has yet to be confirmed.

We still haven't seen any of the digital evidence promised to the jury.

News 18 will continue to follow this trial and hopefully bring you that in the coming days.

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