The man charged with murdering his Grove Street neighbor in a drug deal gone bad appeared before chief magistrate William Thomas March 19 for a preliminary hearing.Ronald Smith, 28, is charged with shooting 56-year-old Charles Graves Adams in the face with a high-powered rifle January 30. The shooting has been tied to a methamphetamine transaction, according to district attorney Richard Milam.At the hearing, officers testified Smith approached them at the scene on Grove Street and was implicated after ‘inserting himself’ into the investigation.Investigator Buddy McBride outlined the facts of the case. He noted Smith was initially interviewed and later requested – in writing – a second interview with investigators at which he claimed the shooting was accidental. Smith told authorities he threw a real estate tube at the door in the pre-dawn darkness to summon Adams because, as a convicted felon, he did not want to be seen with a weapon. When Adams came out, Smith claims he was showing the dead man the rifle which he wished to sell when he worked the bolt and the gun went off. In McBride’s office, he described how he was crouched down on one knee with the rifle aimed at the victim when it accidentally fired.After the shooting, Smith did not bother to check on Adams but fled to his home, according to testimony.