Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bill Smithson On Trial

The trial of my former Daily Times colleague Billy Smithson continues today in Courtroom 6. Don't come. It's pretty crowded.

Yesterday, evidence was presented that suggested Smithson killed 23-year-old Jason Shephard in a drug fueled attempted to have sex with him.

The most damning testimony came from Smithson former "partner" Daniel Hall, who said he got a phone call at his parents home in Virginia Beach from Smithson asking him to come up to his Thornbury home because he needed help.

Hall, hoping Smithson wanted to reconcile, jumped in his car drove 4 and half hours to meet him at his Tanguy Road house.

But upon getting there, Smithson was acting all "sketchy" and "paranoid."

Hall said when he asked Bill if there was anybody else in the house, he said "Yes."

So strange was Bill's behavior he asked asked him if the person was alive.

"He said, No."

It was after that, Smithson led him to Shephard's body. It was in an upstairs bedroom covered with a sheet.

Hall said he felt for pulse but there was none. Hall said he told Smithson to call the police but Smithson said he couldn't because of how his family would react.

It is defense attorney Guy Smith's hope to point the finger at another potential killer, Fen Bruce Covington, who was allegedly at Smithson's home the night of the killing.

Under cross examination, Hall said Covington typically supplied Smithson and him with drugs, including crystal meth and GHB, a sexual stimulant.

Hall said that when Covington stayed at Smithson's home he typically stayed in the bedroom where Shephard's body was found.

He described Covington as someone who was only invited over to parties at Smithson's because he brought the drugs, otherwise he "creeped" them out.

Hall, who said he still cares for Smithson, tried to walk back from a statement he gave police after returning to Virginia Beach, which led to Smithson's arrest. He said he couldn't sure if Smithson ever told him about a fantasy he had to slip GHB, which is also known as the "date-rape drug," to an unsuspecting person, for the purpose of making that person pliable for sex.

Under questioning from Smith, Hall said that "slippin' G" was slang in the gay and drug-taking community for "taking it" voluntarily.

So far though, the defense's attempt to implicate Covington as the Shephard's possible killer, remain fairly weak.

According to Hall, Smithson told him he was the "only person" who knew about the body in his house.

Furthermore, a statement from Smithson's niece, was stipulated into evidence. According to the statement Smithson implicated himself as having "hurt someone." It was apparently his niece with whom Smithson was talking on his cell phone when he was arrested. He was at the Glenwood Cemetery visiting his grandmother's grave.

The prosecution also showed how Smithson went to great lengths to mislead police by filing out a missing persons report on Shephard, who was interning with the company for which Smithson worked.

Shephard's body was eventually found in Smithson's basement after his arrest.

For those of us who know Bill, his arrest was beyond shocking. Ebullient, friendly, happy go-lucky is how I remembered him before he left the Daily Times.

In court, friends and family members take up one side of the visitors gallery while the family and friends of Jason Shephard take up the other side.

Bill looks thinner, than I remember him, gaunt and shrunken. During testimony he frequently confers with his lawyers and takes notes. Occasionally, during breaks in testimony, he'll look back and smile at someone he knows.

Monday's session ended early and after the jury was released, Bill stood and nodding greetings to many on his side of the aisle. With the jury safely out, Sheriff's deputies, motioned Bill toward them. He apparently knows the drill well. He turned his back and was handcuffed, then led out of the courtroom and back to jail.

This is a death penalty case, the killing of a person while in the commission of an attempted rape. That is the prosecution's theory of the case.

It will continue this morning.

NOTES: It's weird being at a murder trial and knowing so many of the participants, including the suspect. Defense attorney Guy Smith's daughter, Lizzy, is the goalie for the Delaware County Special Olympics Soccer Team. Jake Spencer is a teammate. The weekend before last, the team for the first time won gold at the state tournament at Villanova. Guy couldn't be there because he was working 24/7 on the Smithson case.

Prosecutor Tom Lawrie is a former member of the Daily Times Community Advisor Board. And of course, Bill is a former ad salesman for the paper.

Also yesterday, during the trial some idiot left his cell on and it went off in the middle of testimony. That idiot was Spencerblog. Our apologies to Judge Barry Dozor for disturbing his courtroom.

22 Comments:

Anonymous r said...

One thing glaringly missing from the Daily Times’ ongoing coverage of this story is the labeling of it as being a “gay” rape and murder. Clearly that is what this was and calling it such would be justified as those involved were into the dark gay lifestyle of illegal drugs and reckless sex, here, including the attempted rape of an unsuspecting heterosexual. But then, as gay-apologist Liberals, labeling this a “gay” rape would run counter to the Lib Media’s agenda to portray all gays as peaceful, law-abiding folks who just want to live their lives and love who they want, blahblahblah… The gay lifestyle is not dark and dirty and perverted, not at all –ever- or so they’d have us believe.

The local Lib Press is once again calculatedly manipulating perceptions, this time via omission –lying- to its readers to protect a Lib-chosen sympathetic group. Much as they always protect blacks… Only the rare white-on-black violent crime ever receives the overblown “racism!” label but never does the much, much more common black-on-white crime receive that moniker. No, when it’s black-on-white we get editorials scolding us to ignore the obvious and to not inject race into it.

Liberals are liars. That’s why it’s called the Lying Liberal Media.

November 18, 2008 at 10:42 AM 
Anonymous bob said...

Do you just not like gays, or are you afraid of being the next "unsuspecting heterosexual"?

November 18, 2008 at 1:15 PM 
Anonymous Bob said...

LOL! This from a man who was excited about being frisked by a big "Jack booted" security guard in front of thousands.

November 18, 2008 at 1:28 PM 
Anonymous r said...

Don’t you worry about me, this isn't about me. What do you think of this glaring Lib Media omission, Dishonest Bob? You’re ok with them manipulating perceptions because you’re gay-sympathetic?

November 18, 2008 at 4:07 PM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

I could care less that its gay-related. In my eyes, a murder is a murder. Why does it needs to be pronounced to the world its gay related in the title? Randal, I think yo're going too far on this one.

I'll take it a step further, it's more interesting to me that it's a former delcotimes reporter rather than being gay-related.

November 19, 2008 at 8:47 AM 
Anonymous Bob said...

The Times, including Gil, has been doing a fine job reporting this story. There's realy no reason to take exception to the work, or the headlines. When there is a hetero rape, murder, do the headlines read "heterosexual killing"? Its a horrible story to begin with. Why would the Times want to sensationalize this. We're not talking the National Enquirer here.
R should stop his whining, lick his sorry a** wounds, realize that his kind are now headed for extinction, and just stop looking for any excuse to use the word LIB in a post.

November 19, 2008 at 10:26 AM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

ahh, bob, we have repeated eachother - comment moderation's setbacks strike again!!!

November 19, 2008 at 3:09 PM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

bob, stop being a LIB. (Come on, you were asking for it!!!)

November 19, 2008 at 3:15 PM 
Anonymous r said...

Had this been straights doing this to a gay you can bet the Lib headlines would be much different.

November 19, 2008 at 3:34 PM 
Anonymous Bob said...

R said "Had this been straights doing this to a gay you can bet the Lib headlines would be much different".
Oh, I get it! Randals Headline- "Straight man drugs, rapes and kills gay man"

What a brilliant mind!

November 19, 2008 at 6:05 PM 
Anonymous rachel e. said...

r, when a man rapes a woman, it has nothing to do with the lifestyle of heterosexuals. As a straight woman, I don't think the crime says anything about my relationship with my boyfriend. The same applies here.

Your views are washed-up. Young republicans resemble libertarians; we like Ron Paul, not Rush Limbaugh. I'm not sure how old you are, but I hope you're healthy enough to sit back and rue the day when my generation extends equal rights to everyone.

November 21, 2008 at 12:28 PM 
Anonymous r said...

Your logic is disjointed, Rachel. That happens when one is grasping to make a point, motivated by their feelings.

By your words here, and like many college-age kids, I’m betting you fell for Obama’s vague calls of “change” and voted accordingly. This would make you part of the present problem we find our nation in. I’m not gonna take any direction from someone like that, thanks.

I have posted in this thread several times now defending my position but for some reason the blog admin won’t post it, so I don’t know what I can tell you. But I’m guessing you wouldn’t really listen to it anyway, so no loss.

November 21, 2008 at 5:58 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have posted in this thread several times now defending my position but for some reason the blog admin won’t post it"

Maybe because bigotry isn't a valid defense.

November 23, 2008 at 9:43 AM 
Anonymous r said...

Neither are the emotion-fueled misplaced sympathies of blind protectionist Liberalism.

November 24, 2008 at 11:55 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob, you are offensive. As a straight and unfortunately apparently attractive woman who has been chased and harassed for decades by lesbians who just cannot seem to get that straight women ALSO can be strong, athletic, and outspoken - but into MEN - and as someone who was even fired by a lesbian boss because I wouldn't go out on a date with her as she repeatedly, aggressively demanded, I.... I seriously have no words to express towards you. You are selfish, narcissist, filled with shame, and deranged; but apparently all your kind are.

I used to care about your subculture but have found that if they find you sexy or desirable, and they can't have you, they will make your life absolute hell.

I'm not even a Christian - I am nonreligious - but it's gone too far. Gays and lesbians will get none of my support ever again. No donations, no letters of support, ever. If a Prop 8 ever comes up in the state I live, I will vote YES in support of it, and out of spite. What else can I do but get revenge through my vote and my pocketbook? The court and media have both been removed from us.

Reading this, I shudder to think what might have occurred had I gone out for coffee with her, innocently thinking that was all on her mind. I could have very well ended up dead; yet no attorney will take my sexual harassment case against her for fear of being tagged "homophobic".

This is going to backfire against you; some heterosexuals have long memories, and I will NEVER forget what your kind has done personally to me. Any way that I can, I will GET YOU.

December 1, 2008 at 5:58 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Wow! Huh?

But for the record, Spencerblog knows Bob, Spencerblog has drank beer with Bob in several locations. Spencerblog and Bob have talked about many things. And with confidence, Spencerblog says Bob is not gay... with all the appropriate Seinfeldian qualifications.

December 1, 2008 at 7:14 PM 
Anonymous Bob said...

WOW! What was that all about? Digging into the archives to slam me - for what? Full moon tonight?
First of all ANON- You say "As a straight and unfortunately apparently attractive woman" Well you listen here wench, I'll be the judge of that! Furthermore, I know a thing or two about lesbians! I happen to be one! OK. I have to go now. My X wife and her girl friend are coming over to watch reruns of Will and Grace.

December 1, 2008 at 9:53 PM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

yikes - where did that one come from? Bob, lock your doors!

December 2, 2008 at 8:40 AM 
Anonymous Bob said...

Steve - She makes Scott and Randal look like pacifists!

December 2, 2008 at 5:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hypocrasy here is amazing. Can you say "Matthew Shepherd". If the crime is against a homosexual it's the biggest part of the story (and, of course, as it turns out Matt was NOT murdered because he was a homosexual to begin with)...but let the crime be a homosexual rape of a heterosexual and THAT'S swept under the rug. Now hate crime here. You people are unbelievable

December 2, 2008 at 5:52 PM 
Anonymous Bob said...

HEY ANON- Are you single? Because if you are, Im seeing a love match here!
C Scott Shields Esq. isnt a big fan of the gay community either. AND- He's single. Hey- you don't hunt moose by any chance, do ya?

So now, let me get this "straight".
Lesbians have been hitting on you for decades? And you said "if they find you sexy or desirable, and they can't have you, they will make your life absolute hell"
Hey, the only gay person that made my life hell was my X wife. All of my other gay friends are nice, God fearing Christians, who come over during the holiday season to help redecorate, and pick out lingerie for my girl friend de-jour. Oh - and to watch HGTV.

Now this was an interesting statement about your X boss -"I shudder to think what might have occurred had I gone out for coffee with her, innocently thinking that was all on her mind. I could have very well ended up dead" Wow! It's a good thing you aren't paranoid, cause she might have tried to convince people that you were fired because you're crazy!

But this statement REALLY got to me
"Any way that I can, I will GET YOU". Oh well. Guess I won't be answering any more casual encounter personals on Craigs List.

December 2, 2008 at 7:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew Jason very well. ALL of you disgust me.

May 18, 2012 at 2:02 PM 

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