Son of Donald Hartung testifies in day 4 of trial

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — 3 p.m. Court has adjourned and will start up again on Monday at 9 a.m.

1:53 p.m. — The state has called Donald Hartung Jr., the son of Donald Hartung. Hartung Jr. says he found out about his grandmother and two uncles dying from Hartung Sr.

“He said, ‘Son, they’re all dead,” Hartung Jr. said. “Your grandmother, RT and John, they’re all gone.'”

Hartung Jr. stated that Hartung Sr. was the “black sheep” of the family.

1:42 p.m. — The state has called Florida Department of Law Enforcement firearms analyst William Black. Black analyzed the bullet jacket found at the Smith home. He said the bullet found in the Smith home was from a 9-millimeter Ruger.

1:33 p.m. — The state has called Mark Bailey, a former co-worker of Hartung at Sacred Heart Hospital. Bailey testified Hartung has a strained relationship with his brothers. Bailey says Hartung told him the stained relationship stemmed from financial issues.

1:15 p.m. — The state has called S.A. Roddenbury, an attorney that prepared Bonnie Smith’s will. Roddenbury testified Smith intentionally left Hartung out of her will because she said he had sufficient assets.

11:25 a.m. — The state has called Wayne Wright, who works as a liaison between the state’s attorney’s office and the sheriff’s office. Wright says he located a high Wiccan priest near Nine Mile Road, the priest referenced by Purifoy during his testimony. However, the priest did said he or she did not know Hartung. Wright brought the hammer believed to be the murder weapon to the courthouse, so stay tuned for testimony related to it.

11:10 a.m. — The state has called witness Jessica Bohon. She was involved in probate after the the Smith family’s death. She found a safe at the bottom of Bonnie Smith’s closet.

10:23 a.m. — Purifoy is being questioned by Hartung’s defense attorney Sharon Wilson. Wilson continues to point out inconsistencies in Purifoy’s testimony Friday and his deposition from 2016.

9:35 a.m. — Purifoy says Hartung told him in jail that he hated his mother because she left him out of the will. He also said Hartung told him John Smith molested his son when he was three years old. He said he hated his brother because of that, according to Purifoy.
Purifoy says Hartung confessed to him in jail, stating he killed his family because he wanted Bonnie Smith’s money. Purifoy added that Hartung had been planning the murders for three years but his Ouija board pushed him to do it.

Purifoy says Hartung hit John in the head with a hammer while he was watching TV and then slit his throat. Hartung told him he tortured his mother and cut her pinky finger to get her to tell him the code to a safe, Purifoy says. Purifoy said Hartung then hit her in the head and slit her throat.

Purifoy says Hartung then waited for Richard to get home and shot him. He said the shot didn’t kill Richard, and he put up a fight. He said Hartung then slit Richard’s throat.

Purifoy says Hartung then stole money from a safe located in Bonnie’s closet.

According to Purifoy, Hartung changed his clothes at the home and gave them to a priest.

Purifoy says Hartung told him he was going to use several defenses to keep prosecutors’ eyes off him.

9:18 a.m. — Marlin Purifoy says Hartung gave him a list of Wicca books to check out.

9:15 a.m. The state has called Marlin Purifoy, a convicted attempted murderer. He is serving 30 years in jail. He was podmates with Hartung at the Escambia County jail. Prosecutors have offered the possibility for a reduced sentence for his cooperation with the Hartung investigation and his testimony.
Purifoy says people in jail were after of Hartung because they thought he was a witch.

9 a.m. — The Donald Hartung murder trial is expected to resume at 9 a.m.


Hartung is accused of killing his mother and two half-brothers on July 28, 2015. Prosecutors say he beat his mother, Bonnie Smith, and brother, John Smith in the head with a hammer and then slit their throats.

He is accused of shooting his brother Richard Thomas Smith in the head.
The state still has at least 10 more witnesses left to testify. The triple murder jury trial is expected to last about three weeks.

News 5 will provide continued updates throughout the day.

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