Opening statements and two witnesses testify in Day 2 of the trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Schuler Smith

August 1, 2017 in News

By Othor Cain,
Editor,

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Robert Schuler Smith

A jury composed of 12 jurors—5 black females; five black males and two white females— along with three alternate jurors (two white females and one black female) listened to opening statements and heard testimony from two witnesses Tuesday in the second trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Schuler Smith. Smith is being tried again in the case that involves criminal defendant Christopher Butler.

Smith is facing a three count indictment which includes: two counts of conspiring to hinder prosecution of a drug case involving Butler and one count of unlawfully providing advice to a criminal defendant (Butler).

This is the second trial as the first one in January ended in a mistrial, because the jury was deadlocked and it was discovered that one juror was acting outside of the evidence presented during that trial.

Special Judge Larry Roberts granted the prosecutions request to sequester the jury. They are being housed at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Ridgeland and are not allowed to have access to cell phones, internet nor any contact with traditional or social media.

In Hinds County Court today, the prosecution presented video that showcased Butler receiving a large duffle bag that contained money. It was also shown during video footage that Butler placed marijuana in a piece of furniture. Smith in his first trial argued that someone ‘planted’ the drugs in Butler’s home and that he felt Butler was being ’set-up.’

Jurors heard from Investigator Lee McDivitt who works in the Office of the Attorney General and Attorney Gale Walker who is a former Assistant District attorney.

Testimony resumes Wednesday at 9 a.m.