*He was named a “person of interest” in the killing of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen and he shot himself to death as detectives tried to question him – but police say it’s still not clear if he played any role in the murder.
What is certain about Harold Martin Smith is that he was an armed career criminal possibly looking at another stretch in prison.
Documents obtained Friday by The Associated Press reveal that Smith, who acquaintances say had boasted of killing Chasen for money, was a convicted, two-strikes felon with a long criminal history.
Smith, 43, had most recently been released from prison in 2007 after a robbery conviction. He was discharged from parole last year and had told neighbors at the seedy Los Angeles apartment building where he lived that he would never return to prison.
He ensured that Wednesday, when Beverly Hills police detectives, armed with a search warrant, approached him in the shabby lobby of the Harvey Apartments, told him to take his hands out of his pockets and said they were there to talk about Chasen’s killing.
Smith pulled a gun from one of those pockets and shot himself in the head.
Police say it’s possible Smith had no connection to the murder.
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