Judge drops capital murder charge against Delta doctor
Published: April 4,2013
GREENWOOD — A judge has dismissed a charge of capital murder against Greenwood Dr. Arnold Smith, who is charged in arranging an attack on a local attorney.
The Greenwood Commonwealth reports Circuit Judge Breland Hilburn decided that prosecutors’ indictment of Smith does not support a capital murder charge.
Hilburn ruled prosecutors can pursue the lesser charge of depraved heart murder, one that describes an action so careless and callous as to result in the ending of a person’s life.
Hilburn also rescheduled Smith’s trial for May 20.
The 71-year-old Smith is charged with murder as the alleged instigator of a plot that ended with the death of gunman Keaira Byrd and the wounding Derrick Lacy. Byrd allegedly had been hired to kill attorney Lee Abraham, who represented Smith’s ex-wife in their divorce years ago. Abraham was not injured in the incident in April of 2012.
Smith has also been charged with two counts of conspiring to murder Abraham.
Smith has been held without bail since his arrest.
Authorities said Byrd died from a gunshot to the head, fired by an unnamed investigator from the attorney general’s office. Abraham had contacted the attorney general’s office.
Hilburn has ordered a separate trial for Lacy, set for April 22. Lacy is charged with capital murder in Byrd’s death and conspiring with Smith to kill Abraham.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
FOLLOW THE MBJ ON TWITTERMy Tweets
Twang & Tourism: The Country Music Trail
Top Posts & Pages
- Oxford’s FNC getting new headquarters
- Judge intends to rule on McDaniel's challenge before general election
- QUIRKY? NO, JERKY — Whatever your craving, Beef Jerky Outlets likely has the flavor among 200+ choices
- Officials set hunting dates for birds; expands dove season by 20 days
- (UPDATE) I-20 partially closed as vehicle carrying hazardous materials burns
- Coast family wins $644K in tideland lawsuit against state
- State’s MAGIC accounting system works, albeit with glitches
- Corps official: River needs larger ports, locks and dams
- C Spire, UM installing Wi-Fi network at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium