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Man Fatally Shoots Stepfather After Argument Over Gay Guest

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday October 21, 2021

Christian A. Smith
Christian A. Smith  (Source:Salem County Correctional Facility)

New Jersey man Christian A. Smith, 23, has been charged with first-degree murder after killing his stepfather, Dennis McKenzie, 43, in an altercation.

The incident reportedly took place on Oct. 9 while Smith was supposed to be temporarily staying with his mother and stepfather at their home in Gloucester County, reported NJ.com.

During a family celebration, a relative reportedly brought a gay friend to the occasion — prompting Smith to object over the man coming into the home and start an argument with his stepfather.

"He made it known to his stepfather that he did not approve of that person coming into their house ... that their house was a house of God," explained assistant prosecutor Dana Anton.

Recounting the Oct. 9 incident, "The stepfather took a swing at Mr. Smith and, I believe, maybe superficially hit him," Anton said. "In response to that, Mr. Smith took out a Glock 19 that was in his waistband and shot him three times."

McKenzie was hit twice and died at the scene.

"This argument that proceeded the murder, it started over an act of bias and an act of bias intimidation where he is using a slur about somebody's sexual orientation," Anton said.

Smith claimed the shooting was accidental. However, Superior Court Judge Mary Beth Kramer found probable cause for a murder charge and for a second-degree charge of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Smith is scheduled to return to court Dec. 2 for a pre-indictment hearing.