PLAINS TOWNSHIP – Township and state police are investigating the fatal shooting of a man found near the Red Roof Inn on Route 315 Friday evening.
According to state police, 27-year-old Leslie Keneyatta Smith, of Wilkes-Barre, was found at 7:42 p.m. inside a car that had crashed along the driveway connecting the hotel parking lot and Route 315. The male victim had suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene by Luzerne County Acting Coroner Bill Lisman, state police said.
An autopsy was performed by Dr. Mary Pascucci at 3 p.m. Saturday at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. Lisman said the autopsy determined Smith died from multiple gunshot wounds and that injuries from the car accident were not a contributing factor. The death was ruled a homicide, Lisman said.
Lisman said Smith's family is from Brooklyn, N.Y. and that he also has a Brooklyn address.
The car, a dark-colored sedan, came to rest against a light post behind a guardrail next to the driveway, facing away from the hotel. From the position of the vehicle and tire tracks in the grass it appeared to have been moving away from the hotel parking lot when it crashed.
The vehicle was towed from the scene. Police cordoned off with red tape the area where the car came to a rest, which was still littered with debris and car parts Saturday afternoon.
No arrests have been made and the shooter remains at large, state police said.
The Red Roof Inn said it had no information on whether the victim or suspects were staying at the hotel.
Court records indicate the victim had been arrested and charged with criminal offenses by Luzerne County authorities multiple times since 2004.
In 2006, Smith pleaded guilty to criminal attempt of criminal trespass and criminal mischief and was sentenced by Luzerne County Judge Chester Muroski to 6 to 12 months confinement.
In 2008, he pleaded guilty to manufacture, delivery or possession of a controlled sentence and fleeing or attempting to elude police and was sentenced by Judge Mark Ciavarella to 18 to 36 months confinement. Also in 2008, he pleaded guilty to escape and was sentenced to 18 to 36 months confinement, also by Ciavarella.
In March, he was charged by state police with two counts of manufacture, delivery or possession of a controlled substance and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture, delivery or possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of a communications facility.
Township and state police, the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office and the coroner's office are continuing investigation of the homicide.
District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said she could not release additional information about the shooting because she did not wish to compromise the ongoing investigation.
We are actively working on this with Plains Township and Pennsylvania State Police around the clock, Salavantis said. If anybody has any information we ask them to please come forward.
Anyone with information is asked to contact state police Wyoming barracks at 570-697-2000.