PORT SALERNO, Fla. — Martin County detectives said Wednesday they arrested a handyman in the killing of an elderly couple last month.
Donald Smith, 81, and Lorraine Smith, 80, were found dead inside their home in the 5500 block of SE Hull St. in the Rocky Point community of Port Salerno on Aug. 28.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said Johnny Manord, 55, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated burglary in the case.
Snyder said the couple was killed on Aug. 26, which was two days before a neighbor found their bodies.
Manord was arrested Aug. 29 on charges of domestic violence and drug possession. Snyder said Manord, who was a longtime handyman for the couple and an immediate person of interest in the case, later confessed to the killings.
Snyder said the suspect entered through an open garage door, confronted Lorraine Smith and demanded money.
Lorraine refused to comply with Manord's demands and later bashed her over the head with a heavy glass bowl, according to investigators.
Donald Smith, who was inside the home taking a shower, heard the commotion and ran out to help his wife. Synder said Manord then struck Donald with the same bowl in the back of his head.
Manord then went into the couple's kitchen and grabbed a large, sharp knife and slit the couple's throats before fleeing the scene in their vehicle, which was later found near his girlfriend's home in Stuart.
Snyder said surveillance video recorded Manord walking inside the Smiths' home before the deadly attack.
The medical examiner determined the couple died of blunt force trauma and sharp force trauma.
The sheriff said Manord's public defender and the state attorney agreed to a plea deal, which included him pleading guilty and giving a detailed account of the deadly attack.
The agreement stipulates that Manord will be sentenced to three consecutive life sentences.