HARRISBURG (AP) — The father of a Harrisburg man who’s serving time in a Peruvian prison for the death of his wife was indicted Wednesday on federal charges that he tried to help his son escape while the son was in custody in Pennsylvania. A federal grand jury charged William Trickett Smith Sr., 76, with trying to arrange a prison escape, lying about it to federal agents and trying to persuade another person to lie to the FBI, the U.S. attorney’s office in Harrisburg said.
Smith is already serving time in a Pennsylvania prison for unrelated charges of arson, insurance fraud and evidence tampering. Smith’s federal court docket did not list a defense attorney.
His son, William Trickett Smith II, pleaded guilty in 2011 to killing his Peruvian wife and dumping her body at sea in a suitcase that later washed up on Lima’s coast. The couple had met over the Internet in 2006, when she was 21 and he was 26. They married the following year.
Federal prosecutors said the elder Smith allegedly filed a false private criminal complaint, paid off a magisterial district judge to schedule a hearing that would require his son to be transported, and paid off a constable who would be picked to transport him. The plan fell through because the prosecutor did not approve the complaint, prosecutors said.