Smithson: Narcissistic, Drug Addicted
Smithson was convicted Friday of first degree murder, kidnapping, attempted rape in the killing of Jason Shephard.
Monday morning the penalty phase of the trial began to decide if Smithson would get the death penalty or life in prison.
In addition to the personality disorder, Dr. Gerald Cook, said Smithson also suffered from drug dependence and had a history of alcohol abuse.
Cook said after testing and examining Smithson he found him to be in "denial" and "repression" concerning a childhood, in which he didn't get the nurturing he needed to become a well-adjusted adult.
Cook said dependence on crystal meth can have the long term effect of causing addicts to be "anxious, paranoid, violent, and self-destructive."
Based on his opinion, Smithson was "under extreme emotional disturbance at the time of these events..."
Cook also suggested Smithson was "self-centered" and sensation seeking."
He also said that Smithson's drug use seemed to increase after his grandmother, to whom he was very close, passed away.
Under cross examination by ADA Tom Lawrie, Cook said that while Smithson might have "functioned well" in his job, no so much well in his personal life.
Cook also sound her tested the defendant for "organic brain damage" and found none.
The only witness for the prosecution was Jason Shephard's father, Kyle Shephard, who described the loss of his only son.
"He was the core of our family," Shephard told the jury.
Shephard talked about his son almost as if he were still alive.
Lawrie asked him if the two years that have passed since his son's death have helped mitigate the pain.
"No," Shephard quietly replied. "It's been two years of nightmare."
He described his and his wife coming to Philadelphia to search for their son, only to be met by Smithson. While he drove them to their hotel, Jason's body at his house.
"The person we shook hands with (that night at the airport) was the person who took his life."
As for Jason, "We can't imagine the suffering he went through that night," his father said.
By the time he left the stand, even the defendant was wiping his eyes.