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Doctor's lawyers want new judge for murder-for-hire case

GREENWOOD — The defense team for a man facing capital murder and conspiracy charges stemming from a shootout at a Greenwood law office is seeking to have a judge removed from the case.

Awaiting trial is 70-year-old Dr. Arnold Smith. His attorneys filed a motion last Friday to have Judge Breland Hilburn taken off the case. The Greenwood Commonwealth reports the defense says Hilburn has shown partiality in the case.

Smith was arrested April 29, the morning after a shootout at the office of Greenwood attorney Lee Abraham. Smith is accused of offering Keaira Byrd $20,000 to kill Abraham. Smith has been indicted on a charge of capital murder for the death of Keaira Byrd and charges of conspiracy to commit the murder.

According to the motion filed Friday, the fact that Hilburn canceled a Nov. 2 hearing on pending motions by Smith’s attorneys proves the judge’s partiality. The motion also claims Hilburn demonstrated partiality by allowing Smith’s co-defendant, Cordarious Robinson in the conspiracy case to remain free on bail.

Smith has been denied bail on the grounds that he has been indicted for capital murder.

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