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Doctor accused of failed murder scheme sues would-be victim

GREENWOOD — A Mississippi doctor charged with plotting to kill his ex-wife’s divorce lawyer has filed a countersuit to a lawsuit filed by the attorney.

Dr. Arnold Smith alleges in his countersuit that Greenwood attorney Lee Abraham secretly schemed with others to cause him “severe mental and emotional distress.”

The Greenwood Commonwealth reports the countersuit doesn’t provide specific details about what Smith claims Abraham did.

Smith is charged with two counts of conspiring to kill Abraham and one count of capital murder in the death of Keaira Byrd. Smith allegedly hired Byrd to carry out a hit on Abraham. Byrd was killed by authorities during a shootout at Abraham’s office April 28.

Smith is being held without bond. Abraham sued him in July. Smith’s wife, Mary, filed the countersuit on his behalf July 27 in Leflore County Circuit Court.

The filing says Smith reserves the right to add additional allegations to the countersuit upon further investigation and pre-trial discovery “due to the secretive nature of Lee Abraham’s unlawful conduct.”

Smith filed several subpoenas to get such information, including one to the Greenwood Police Department for investigative records related to an armed robbery and stabbing Smith claimed he suffered April 12 on River Road.

Abraham had sued Smith 10 days earlier for civil conspiracy, saying he’s had to alter his daily actions and lost enjoyment of his normal life as a result of a plot to murder him.

Two alleged assassins entered Abraham’s law office on the night of April 28 after one of them had earlier called Abraham and offered to sell him evidence against Smith. The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office was investigating Smith at the time for allegedly trying to hire people to kill Abraham.

The oncologist has long harbored ill will against the attorney and accused Abraham of having strong political and economic influence, dating back to when Abraham represented Smith’s ex-wife in their contentious divorce in the 1990s.

Abraham arranged for three attorney general’s agents to be present at the purported exchange, and a shootout erupted after Keaira Byrd, who was wearing a ski mask, entered and allegedly pointed the assault pistol he was carrying at one of the agents; Derrick Lacy, who claims Byrd put the gun to his head to make him go to Abraham’s office, was severely wounded.

One agent was grazed by a bullet, and Abraham wasn’t hurt.

Smith was arrested the next day and is being held without bond at the Leflore County Jail awaiting the action of a grand jury on charges of conspiring to kill Abraham and the capital murder of Byrd. The grand jury is scheduled to meet later this month. Lacy is also charged with capital murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Two other men — Cordarious Robinson


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