Rodney Smith Case: “South Mountain Shooter” Continues Waiting For Trial

By | January 21, 2010

by Brian A. Wilkins
1/21/2010 (links updated February 1, 2023)



In case you’re wondering why Operation Nation has not given an update on the case of Rodney Smith, Jr. – the alleged “South Mountain Shooter” who was forced to defend himself with his pistol at South Mountain Community College in South Phoenix back on July 24, 2008 – it’s because…there is no update.

Mr. Smith, now 24-years-old, has been on house arrest with an ankle-monitor since late October 2008, waiting for his constitutional right to a public trial by jury. And according to several sources, Mr. Smith is frequently harassed by a Maricopa County “pre-trial officer” named James Morones, who shows up at the residence Mr. Smith stays at almost weekly to boost his own ego.

According to court records, Mr. Smith was supposed to attend a settlement conference last Friday, January 15. But in the spirit of the Maricopa County court’s clown persona, the judge who was to conduct the hearing said there were “scheduling conflicts,” and vacated the settlement conference without re-scheduling another one. Plus, the prosecutor in the case, Heather Wicht, never returned for the conference anyway after the judge took a recess.

The Maricopa County judge, Paul J. McMurdie, is the same judge named in a recently filed federal lawsuit, which among other things, accuses McMurdie of strickening an Amicus Curiae brief filed by a Maricopa County public defender in a criminal case, which lays out concrete evidence of prosecutors and judges in this county working together to convict defendants, regardless of evidence proving innocence. Though the case will likely be dismissed by U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver (for various reasons), the complaint is a fascinating read (see the entire complaint in PDF format here) with exhibits proving the accusations.

McMurdie, who continues to call himself “honorable,” was also the same judge who denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss a criminal case brought by Andrew Thomas and his goons, but granted Maricopa County’s same motion to dismiss the case five months later, once the already obvious evidence was presented at a hearing.

It’s difficult to believe that Mr. Smith will get a constitutional trial in this case, as the aforementioned prosecutor, Wicht, continues violating conflict of interest statutes by prosecuting the case, and has already lost criminal cases against Mr. Smith’s mother and father. The only way Wicht can salvage her wanton persecution of the Smith family is somehow sending Mr. Smith to prison for years.

Maricopa County has also continued its lenience towards Isaac Smith, the man Mr. Rodney Smith was forced to protect himself against at South Mountain Community College that day. Isaac Smith violated his probation terms back in November, but Wicht, who again was the prosecutor for Isaac Smith when he and two other men jumped Rodney Smith back in December of 2007, let Isaac Smith off again by re-instating his probation, despite his violent history. Wicht did this, obviously, because if the attacker Mr. Smith was protecting himself against is sitting in prison when Rodney Smith’s trial takes place in late March, it will further make her case look as frivolous as her cases against Rodney’s mother and father.

This article is not meant to criminalize Isaac Smith either. In fact, he is being played as a pawn almost as much as Rodney Smith, by these Maricopa County people. Because let’s face it: if Rodney Smith was a “white” college student who Isaac Smith jumped back in December 2007, Isaac Smith would have been sentenced to prison for well over five years.

By law, in Arizona, Rodney Smith’s trial was supposed to happen no later than May 10, 2009 because it is deemed a “complex case.” Yet, Mr. Smith is still confined to his place of residence, waiting for this Maricopa County system to simply follow the law.

We will follow the trial day-by-day when (if) it commences on March 30.


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