Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Defense Attorney Implies That Intern Who Alleged Was Murdered For Resisting Rape No Innocent Victim

From Philly Inquirer:

A Delaware County man drugged a younger coworker, attempted to rape him, and killed him when he resisted, prosecutors told the jury in his murder trial yesterday.
William F. Smithson, 43, of Glen Mills, is charged with murder, aggravated assault, attempted rape, kidnapping, and drug and other charges. If convicted, he could face the death penalty. [...]

"There is no dispute Jason Shephard is dead," said G. Guy Smith, defense attorney. "There is a dispute over who killed him. Bill Smithson did not kill him."
Smith told jurors there was a third man in the home that night. [...]

Smith suggested to jurors that there was "another side to the story" that they would have to consider. Shephard, who was visiting town for the second time, called Smithson before he arrived, and the two made plans to do some sightseeing. Smith said records show that the intern watched "adult movies" at his hotel room.
"Was it more than a friendly relationship?" Smith said.

This means that this defense attorney is taking the "it was consensual" approach to the attempted rape and kidnapping charges and possibly to other charges as well.

The defense attorney will need to find a way to explain away Smithson's decision to report Shepard missing even though the younger man's body was found in his basement.

The witness who was reportedly called by Smithson shortly after Shepard's death and who reportedly was shown Shepard's body before it was moved, and who called police, will likely be attacked since that information is one man's word against another's.

As we've seen in rape cases, credible prosecution testimony that cannot be proven through supporting forensic evidence is often spun by defense attorneys as meaningless. From the defense attorney's statement I expect this trial to contain plenty of victim blaming.

Update (11/22): Smithson was found guilty of first-degree murder.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:12 AM   0 comments links to this post


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