Federal prosecutors seek revocation of convicted killer's U.S. citizenship

Apr. 19—Federal prosecutors filed charges this week accusing Brian Steven Smith of lying on his application for citizenship because he had not disclosed that he had killed people.

Smith, now 53, was convicted in February in Anchorage for murdering Kathleen Jo Henry in 2019 and Veronica Abouchuk in 2018. The case garnered national attention and highlighted violence against Alaska Native women.

Smith, originally from South Africa, was first charged in October 2019 with first-degree murder, sexual abuse, misconduct with a corpse and tampering with evidence.

During the three-week trial this year, prosecutors presented testimony and evidence that included self-recorded videos and photos Smith had taken of Henry's torture and strangling death inside a Midtown Anchorage hotel room. During interviews with police, Smith told detectives he had fatally shot another woman and dumped her body off the Old Glenn Highway. She was later identified as Abouchuk.

Prosecutors said during the trial that Smith targeted vulnerable, unhoused Alaska Native women.

He was found guilty on all 14 counts in the state murder trial. He is scheduled for sentencing in July and faces a potential life sentence.

Smith was indicted Wednesday in Anchorage U.S. District Court on separate charges of unlawful procurement of naturalization and unlawful procurement of naturalization by an ineligible person.

While applying for American citizenship in 2019, Smith answered "no" to questions asking if he had killed, badly hurt or sexually assaulted another person, or been involved in a crime, the indictment said.

Smith also does not meet the requirement for citizenship that a person must be of "good moral character" because of the crimes he committed, it said. Smith had not yet been arrested for the killings as he was submitting his application to become an U.S. citizen.

If convicted on the federal counts, his citizenship would be revoked, the indictment said.