by Fitzgerald Cecilio
San Francisco, CA
Troubles kept piling up on San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith after he was slapped with three felony counts of illegal possession of assault weapons that he bought in Arizona.
The assault weapons were allegedly discovered during a search after a raucous party at Smith's rented house near San Jose on June 29, 2012 during which he was reportedly stabbed and two people were shot.
The 24-year-old Smith is expected to surrender this month to face the charges filed in county Superior Court. If convicted, he could be sentenced to four years and four months behind bars.
Smith has left the team indefinitely to enter a treatment facility. He was arrested Sept. 20 in San Jose on suspicion of drunken driving and marijuana possession.
The 49ers, in a statement, said it was aware of the developments. "We recognize the serious nature of this situation, as does Aldon, and will continue to monitor it closely. As this is an ongoing legal matter, we will have no further comment," it said.
Before the incident, 100 people showed up in the party, but Smith decided to end it after someone brandished a gun at a bartender, prosecutors said.
Smith told a group of guests to leave and was closing his garage door when someone allegedly fired three shots that lodged in the back of the garage.
Smith went to a bedroom, retrieved a .45-caliber handgun and fired a shot into the air. He reopened the garage door, believing it was safe, but people were still congregating outside.
A partygoer, Steven Barba then allegedly used a knife to stab Smith twice. Barba has been charged with assault, gun possession and gang enhancements.
Delanie Walker, a former 49ers tight end who was also at the party, then fired the same .45-caliber handgun into the air, authorities said.
Another person returned fire, striking two guests, Ronndale Esporlas and Aaron Reyes, who suffered serious injuries and are now suing Smith and Walker, who now plays for the Tennessee Titans.
Then, someone went into Smith's bedroom, removed an assault weapon and "carried it around the party".
After the party, sheriff's deputies searched the home and found five weapons, including four rifles, as well as "several additional large-capacity magazines strewn about the floor of Smith's bedroom."
None of the five weapons was registered with the state Department of Justice, investigators said, and three rifles were determined to be illegal assault weapons under California law.
These guns include an Armalite AR10-T .308-caliber rifle, a Bushmaster ACR chambered for 5.56mm NATO cartridges and a Bushmaster Carbon 15 .223-caliber rifle.
Investigators said Smith had purchased the three firearms in Arizona in 2011. He bought two of them from a gun dealer in Phoenix on Dec. 10, 2011, the day before the 49ers played the Arizona Cardinals.
Investigators said that even if the weapons were purchased in Arizona by an Arizona resident, the weapons are illegal to possess in California.