FORT SMITH — A Clarksville man has been charged with capital murder in the May death of a Johnson County auxiliary deputy.

FORT SMITH — A Clarksville man has been charged with capital murder in the May death of a Johnson County auxiliary deputy.


Fred Albert Kauffeld, 51, was charged with capital murder, attempted capital murder and residential burglary, according to documents filed Thursday in Johnson County Circuit Court.


The charges stem from a May 15 incident in which Johnson County auxiliary deputy Sonny Smith, 42, of Clarksville, was shot and killed while responding to a call of a burglar in the area of Johnson County Road 1723. Smith confronted the suspect, later identified as Kauffeld, about 2:30 a.m. before Kauffeld allegedly shot Smith.


Kauffeld was charged with two counts of capital murder, two counts of attempted capital murder and one count of residential burglary.


The first count alleges that Kauffeld caused the death of a law-enforcement officer with premeditation and deliberation. The second count specifies that Kauffeld, in his immediate flight from a residential burglary, allegedly took the life of another human being.


Prosecutor David Gibbons explained that although there was only one death, he viewed two ways in which the alleged crime was committed.


"You don’t see it very often, but in this instance we felt it necessary," he said.


The two counts of attempted capital murder are in reference to two other deputies who were at the scene, Gibbons said.


The burglary count alleges that Kauffeld broke into the residence of William Nobles.


Capital murder is a Class Y felony punishable by death or life in prison. Attempted capital murder also is a Class Y felony, punishable by 10-40 years or life in prison.


Residential burglary is a Class B felony punishable by 5-20 years in prison and/or up to a $15,000 fine.


Kauffeld is being held without bond at the Pope County Detention Center. He has a formal plea and arraignment scheduled for July 10 in Johnson County.