On February 2, police charged Shayne Kenneth Smith, a 21-year-old resident of Churchton, with homicide and manslaughter in connection with the death of Nick Barton, a lacrosse player for Riverhawks, in a boating accident last summer. Smith, a former lacrosse player at Virginia Wesleyan University, was also charged with seven misdemeanors related to operating a vessel while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, in addition to the three felony charges. He faces a possible prison sentence of up to 26 years.
Barton died in June when the 17-foot boat he was in struck a support structure near the Parish Creek Marina on the West River, causing him to fall into the water. After the accident, former AACC defensive athlete Dylan Anderson described Barton as a leader who held people to a high standard, and Athletic Director Duane Herr said in a statement that Barton was a bright spot in the Riverhawk athletics community who left a lasting impression on everyone he met.
Despite feeling indifferent about Smith’s arrest, Payton Williams, a second-year communications student who played lacrosse with Barton, hopes that everyone involved in the situation continues to live through Nick and see him as an example. Barton was a dean’s list student who made the athletic director’s honor roll twice and scored 39 goals and totaled nine assists in 29 career games during his three years on the team.
Smith is scheduled to appear in court on April 21.