A fifty-nine-year-old man blames coronavirus after he shot and killed his wife and 21-year-old son in cold blood. He also attempted to kill his other son on the rampage. But afterward, Smith Rivera seemed to regret what he had done. And when he turned himself in to the cops, he spun a story about how he was “depressed from the coronavirus” and just had to kill his family in a double homicide.
Now, Smith Rivera is behind bars in Florida after confessing to the double murder. He shot and killed his wife, his adult son, and attempted to take the life of his other son. He has since blamed his depression from the COVID-19 pandemic on driving him to murder his family.
A sister of Rivera confirmed that her brother was depressed and was not acting like himself when he killed his loved ones. Orange County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene of the crime at home in the 11600 block of Darlington Drive after they received reports of shooting at 1:15 am on Sunday.
Police walked into a bloody scene of violence and found the shot-up corpses of Rivera’s wife, 57-year-old Jodi Rivera, and their 21-year-old son, Matthew Rivera.
The arrest affidavit claimed that while detectives were collecting evidence, Rivera drove back to the home in his Kia Soul. He emerged and confessed to the double murder.
“I shot my wife,” he said to the cops.
He has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder. While he shot the gun at his younger son, the boy managed to flee the scene with his life – which is what his mother would have wanted.
Not only was Jodi Rivera murdered in cold blood by a husband dealing with depression, but she was also a cancer survivor. She never expected her husband to be the one to end her life.
The post on social media from the couple’s surviving son read: “Mom I will be everything I promised you and much more … I love you so so so much.”
The deceased son, Matthew, was a student at Southwestern University. One of his surviving brothers celebrated his life by posting a tribute to him on Facebook that read: “Love you, Matthew, you were always the best one of us!”
Although Smith Rivera wants to blame the COVID-19 pandemic on the murders, he has a criminal record dating back more than a decade. Back in 2009, his arrest record started. And in 2017, he was arrested on charges of battery, disorderly intoxication, and threatening a public servant. Based on this incident alone, he had a violent past that threatened a person who was just doing their job.
On Daily Mail, readers wrote the following responses to the man’s “defense” of his murdering ways.
“I’ve been depressed I don’t kill people.”
“Stop blaming COVID. This man is a murderer plain and simple.”
“Doubt this was due to the virus. He would have done this regardless.”
What do you think about the evidence in this case?
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