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Transcript of Derrick Lacy police interview released!

Thursday, December 20, 2012, 12:10 pm News Flash Archive

Dr. Arnold Smith's attorney has filed a copy of what purports to be a "transcript" of the police interview with Derrick Lacy as he lay wounded at the hospital, awaiting transport to Jackson. That transcript may be seen here: Derrick Lacy Interview transcript

On December 17, Smith's attorney William Bell filed a motion for preliminary injunction in Federal District Court to stop the local District Attorney and the Attorney General from going forward with the prosecution of Dr. Smith on the capital murder charge. The transcript was attached as an exhibit to the motion.

The motion may be seen here: Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Dr. Smith was indicted for conspiracy to commit murder and for capital murder. That indictment charged that Dr. Smith hired Keaira Byrd to murder attorney Lee Abraham, and that in the confrontation at Abraham's office with AG investigators, Byrd was killed. Under the capital murder charge theory, Dr. Smith is liable for the death of Byrd because his death took place during the commission of the crime of burglary.

Smith's motion lays out his legal argument that he cannot be held liable for the death of Byrd, since Byrd was in fact killed by the AG investigators.

The motion brings out several interesting facts:

1. Smith objects to Judge Breland Hilburn rescheduling the trial back by 2 months to take place a mere 6 weeks from now. He claims that nobody asked for the trial to be moved forward from its April 22, 2013 date.

2. Smith continues to argue that the AG and his office are members of the judicial branch, and therefore are barred by the doctrine of separation of powers from engaging in any law enforcement or investigatory activities. According to Smith, their involvement in the investigation and drafting of evidentiary affidavits is unlawful and violates his constitutional right to due process.

3. Smith argues that the statement of facts (upon which the search warrants were issued that resulted in the police obtaining most of the incriminating evidence against him) contained falsehoods. In particular, it claimed that there was "an exchange of gunfire," but Smith claims that there were no bullet casings found for Keaira Byrd's weapon, indicating that he did not fire a single shot.

4. Smith also claims that the statement that Derrick Lacy overheard Smith offer Byrd $20,000 to kill Abraham on a speakerphone is unsupported by the transcripts of the interview the police had with Lacy as he lay wounded at the hospital, awaiting transport to Jackson.

Smith's attorney attached several exhibits to this motion, including an affidavit from William Acosta, a retired police officer and Smith's private investigator, who describes his review of all the shell casings collected at the scene of the shooting at Lee Abraham's office. That affidavit may be seen here: Affidavit of William Acosta

The transcript provides several interesting clues:

1. It is apparently incomplete. It consists of 4 separate numbered parts, with obviously missing portions of the interview falling in between the 4 parts.

2. At several points, Lacy begs for something to drink, but the police tell him that the medical staff have forbidden it.

3. Lacy says he is cold, at other times exclaims in pain, and asks to speak to his mother. He is also described as "choking" at one point.

4. The police asked him how he got shot, and he replied, "The police shot me."

5. When told he might not make it, and that he needs to tell them what happened, Lacy replies "And I'll take my secrets to the grave," but he continues answering questions anyway, even after asking for his attorney.

6. When asked why he and Byrd were there, Lacy replies "he put a gun to my head."

7. Lacy states that Byrd was supposed to be paid to kill Lee Abraham.

8. When the police ask if Byrd told Lacy who paid him, the transcript then has an obvious gap. When it picks up again, Lacy and the police are discussing whose phone "they" were talking on, but other than Keaira Byrd, it's unclear who the other party was.

9. Detective Williams then says "Now say it again. You heard Dr. Smith on the phone talking to Kiara [sic] Byrd?" Lacy replies "Yea, that little incident with Dr. Smith being stabbed."

10. It then turns out that the police had questioned Derrick Lacy in regard to the stabbing incident. He denies knowing anything about it, particularly who did the stabbing, or having anything to do with it.

11. Lacy states "I was in the wrong for going in there. You hear me?"

12. Lacy relates how Byrd told him he was supposed to be paid $20,000, but that "he" would have him the money in a couple of days.

The inference from the transcript is that Lacy believed Smith promised the money to Byrd, but it is not clear at all that Lacy actually heard or overheard Smith promise Byrd any money, or ask Byrd to kill Abraham.

Because the transcript obviously does not include all of the conversation, whether Lacy ever actually heard Dr. Smith's voice, the day of the shooting, or several weeks prior to it, remain unclear.

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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