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Man charged over 2020 murder of Wellington man, Frank Smith

Thursday, 28 October 2021 01:03:43 AM

A man will appear in court today charged by detectives investigating the shooting death of a man in the state’s Central West last year.

On Monday 27 April 2020, a member of the public took a man with a gunshot wound to his abdomen to Wellington Base Hospital. Despite the efforts of hospital staff, the man was unable to be revived.

The man was formally identified as 48-year-old Wellington resident, Frank Smith.

Initial inquiries were conducted by officers from Orana Mid-Western Police District before detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad took carriage of the investigation under Strike Force Libani.

Earlier this year, investigators recovered a firearm linked to the murder of Mr Smith which subsequently underwent forensic and ballistic examination.

Following extensive inquiries and public appeals for information, detectives arrested a 31-year-old man in Wellington about 11am today (Wednesday 27 October 2021).

Shortly after the arrest, strike force detectives executed a crime scene warrant at a nearby property, where they seized electronics and other items of interest, which will undergo forensic examination.

The man was taken to Wellington Police Station, where he was charged with murder.

He has been refused bail to appear at Dubbo Local Court today (Thursday 28 October 2021).

The Homicide Squad’s Detective Inspector Virginia Gorman said inquiries into Mr Smith’s murder are ongoing.

“During the last 18 months police have forensically examined numerous items – including the firearm used in this murder – which enabled us to reach this point,” Det Insp Gorman said.

“I would like to thank the Wellington community for their assistance throughout this investigation. Their information led investigators to establish some strong lines of inquiry which police continue to follow.

“I’m hopeful today brings some comfort to those who knew and loved Frank, however, our investigations into this shooting are ongoing and I urge anyone with information to come forward,” Det Insp Gorman said.

Investigations under Strike Force Libani continue.

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.