“South Mountain Shooter” trial may not happen until late 2010

Operation Nation Report
1/26/2009

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ORIGINAL LINK: http://blog.operation-nation.com/2009/01/26/south-mountain-shooter-trial-may-not-happen-until-late-2010.aspx

Rodney Smith, 23, appeared in Maricopa County Superior Court today. The State accuses Smith of recklessly opening fire at South Mountain Community College, in south Phoenix, on July 24, 2008.

Defense attorney Marci Kratter argued before Superior Court Justice Cari Harrison, to modify Smith’s release conditions further. Smith was originally being held in Maricopa County Jail on a $200,000 cash bond before Kratter successfully argued the bond was excessive back on October 22. The bond was lowered to $16,000 and Smith has been on house arrest with an ankle monitor since his release in late October. He spent more than three months in Maricopa County Jail.

Harrison – who was absent from the October hearing – was not pleased with Commissioner Phemonia Miller’s decision to lower the bond at all, and neither was the prosecution. “He’s lucky to even be out on a bond I think is way too low,” Maricopa County Prosecutor Heather Wicht argued. 

Kratter argued that the burden being placed on Smith’s family to support him, because he cannot leave his house for a job, is too much and that Smith has no criminal history. She continued that it is “unrealistic” to expect someone to be confined to their house 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Kratter has several trials, at least one being a capital murder case, which will likely occupy her for the remainder of 2009, pushing any potential trial to sometime in 2010. 

The prosecution accused Kratter of “creating a condition” to modify Smith’s release conditions based solely on Kratter’s workload for the year.
Judge Harrison concurred with Wicht, saying the court’s policy requires some life-event-change in order to modify the release conditions further.
The only likely scenario in which a trial happens this year is if Smith is assigned different counsel. 

A status conference is set for Monday, February 9. 

CLICK HERE TO BE RE-DIRECTED TO THE JUSTICE FOR RODNEY SMITH PAGE, WITH THE CASE BACKGROUND AND ALL THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS.

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