Man, 32, dies in stabbing attack

Published May 31, 2007

TAMPA - A Gibsonton man was stabbed to death Wednesday by a man in a jealous rage who believed the victim was dating his girlfriend, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

James Peak, 32, died outside his brother's home on Cujoe Lane in Gibsonton following a 5:40 p.m. confrontation, officials said.

Hillsborough County sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said Michael Edward Smith, whose last known address was 537 Flame Tree Drive in Apollo Beach, arrived at the house demanding to see Peak, who lives with his brother.

Carter gave this account of what happened next:

Smith, 29, held Peak's sister-in-law and the six small children she was babysitting captive in the house as they awaited Peak's arrival home.

As soon as Peak walked through the door with his brother, Smith stabbed him.

Peak ran out he door, and Smith ran after. Smith stabbed Peak again and then fled.

Peak died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

Smith returned to the house, dropped the knife in a car on the property and fled about a quarter of a mile from the scene. Deputies found him hiding on a Moose Lodge property.

Smith is charged with armed false imprisonment and first-degree murder. Following a January arrest for driving with a suspended license, Smith listed his occupation on jail records as a laborer for Tampa Steel.