Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dr. Smith asks federal court to stop prosecution. Claims no bullet casing from "shooter" found.

Dr. Arnold Smith asked a federal court to issue a preliminary injunction against the prosecution in his capital murder case. A grand jury indicted Dr. Smith for capital murder for his alleged participation in a "murder for hire plot" to kill Greenwood attorney Lee Abraham.  Mr. Abraham represented Dr. Smith's ex-wife in their divorce. 

The indictment alleged Dr. Smith hired two men to assassinate Mr. Abraham. The two individuals entered Mr. Abraham's office on a Saturday night after contacting the lawyer. Mr. Abraham notified the Attorney General of the contact. Two armed investigators from the Attorney General's office waited for the alleged hitmen to appear at the office that night. A gunfight ensued when they entered the office. One investigator was wounded while Keiara Byrd was killed by shots fired by the investigators.

However, Dr. Smith disputes whether Mr. Byrd even fired a weapon. He claims in his motion:

"Detective Jeff Byars states under oath on information and belief that "an exchange of gunfire took place after Byrd fired at the officers. Keaira Byrd was killed as a result of the shooting and Lacy was severely injured." Based upon a November 21, 2012 inspection by Dr. Smith's investigator at the Greenwood Police Department, there is no bullet casing recovered from the crime scene that could have come from the weapon that Keaira Byrd supposedly fired. The state has provided no evidence of any bullet casing from Keaira Byrd's weapon. William Acosta, a licensed private investigator who is retired from NYPD, reviewed the physical evidence provided by the Greenwood Police Department, including all bullet casings recovered from the crime scene. Based on Mr. Acostsa's investigation and review, there are no bullet casings recovered from the crime scene that could have come from the weapon that Mr. Byrd supposedly fired."... Therefor, Detective Byar's claim on information and belief, under oath, that there was an exchange of gunfire after Keaira Byrd fired on the officers constitutes a false official statement by either Detective Byard or by an unknown and unsubstantiated source."

Dr. Smith then asks for the court to set him free. He argues the "threatened injury of the death penalty or life in prison outweighs any threatened harm to the defendants." Ridgeland attorney William Bell represents Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith argues his detention is unlawful because he did not kill Mr. Byrd. He states the actions by the investigators were unlawful because the Attorney General is part of the judicial branch. His employees have no authority to act as law enforcement officers and members of the executive branch. The A.G. thus had no authority under the law to conduct the operation in question. The complaint then argues any evidence seized that night was the result of the unlawful operation and thus is inadmissible. Earlier post with copy of complaint.


Anonymous said...

Of a more pressing concern is that our entire state leadership has been replaced with cheap imitations by the same ring that replaced all the antique furniture in Smith's house. You can tell because Phil Bryant, Jim Hood, even Haley Barbour all look slightly older than last year. It's a conspiracy.

Shadowfax said...

I wonder if Smith's attorney is embarrassed by his own behavior.

Anonymous said...

There are attorneys who will file anything they are paid to file and those who will not. Guess we know which kind William Bell is.

Shadowfax said...

You're not suggesting Smith comes up with this stuff. What kind of goofball IS William Bell?

Anonymous said...

Bell cites the Louisiana case of State v. Myers in support of his argument that one co-conspirator cannot be charged with capital murder if another co-conspirator is killed by the cops. What's wrong with that argument? There was always something strange about the capital murder charge here, and Bell seems to have figured it out. Looks like good lawyering to me.

Shadowfax said...

What happened to the notion that a death resulting from or during the commission of a crime subjects one or several criminal actors to the additional charge of homicide?

Anonymous said...

There is no such notion. Read the case Bell cites. You only get charged with murder when you kill someone else. If someone else kills them you may still be guilty of a lot of stuff, but not murder.

Shadowfax said...

Obviously I'm no lawyer. But, wouldn't that be manslaughter? Is this not a law: "A person who violates a law can be convicted of manslaughter if, in the course of that violation, another person dies".

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