Mom of former UH football player killed says his actions 'shouldn't define him'

Mayra Moreno Image
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Mom of ex-UH athlete killed says his actions 'shouldn't define him'
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Police said they found 11 pounds of marijuana when searching his apartment, but his mom said those details shouldn't matter.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The mother of a former University of Houston football player killed in a shooting last month says newly released details on his personal life shouldn't define who he was as a person.

According to police, 22-year-old Ka'Darian Smith was shot multiple times in his Midtown high-rise apartment on Nov. 4. Police said Smith called his friends saying he had been shot, but ended up dying at the hospital.

While searching the apartment, authorities said they found 11 pounds of marijuana.

ORIGINAL STORY: Former UH football player identified as Midtown murder victim

"Even though that's just a small piece of the puzzle, it doesn't affect or it shouldn't cloud their judgment about who he was as a person," said Smith's mother, Tanecha Dunn. "There's still a lot of stigma attached to it as well ... with marijuana usage and the selling of marijuana, but I don't want that to distract people from who he was as a person. How he treated people and just human decency."

This week, Devion Michael Hurtado, who was identified as a suspect in Smith's killing, was arrested and charged with capital murder.

Authorities said Hurtado and his friends had visited Smith's apartment to buy marijuana.

"It was senseless," said Dunn about Hurtado. "He has left a deep pain within me, [Smith's] family, his peers, his teachers .. and it's just ... senseless. My life is forever changed and will be forever changed. I just take it one day at a time and that's all I can do."

The other suspects seen in the video were also identified, but no charges have been filed yet, investigators said.

Before playing for UH, Smith was also a star player for Spring High School.

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