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Sheriff issues statement on Smith no bills

PRESS RELEASE Lamar County Sheriff June 18, 2010 The Grand jury met on June 15, 2010 for consideration of cases brought before them. The accused in one case was Grier Smith who was charged with aggravated assault. GA Code 16-5-21: Aggravated Assault (a) A person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or she assaults (see simple assault statute below) With intent to murder, to rape, or to rob: With a deadly weapon, or with any object, device, or instrument, which when used offensively against a person, is likely to or does result in serious bodily injury: GA Code 16-5-20: Simple assault A person commits the offense of simple assault when he or she either: (1) Attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of another; or Commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury. The Grand Jury, in their presentment, no-billed the case against Mr. Smith, who was accused of taping a ‘riot control’ grenade to the neck of a jail inmate with the intent to scare him into compliance. The elements of the crime, as shown and admitted to by Mr. Smith in this publication, seem to exactly match those in the statutes. The use of a ‘dummy’ grenade has no statutory bearing on the victim’s ‘reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury’. Mr. Smith’s admission to having committed the elements of the crime seems to have been adequate for a Grand Jury true-bill. The view of the Office of the Sheriff is that a true-bill would have been more appropriate. Mr. Smith could then enter his mitigating statements, if he chose to do so, at a trial. The burden of proof in a criminal trial is ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ and it is borne by the state. Sheriff Waller said, ‘In America we do not have to agree, and in fact we do not agree, but we support, the Grand Jury’s decision. This is not a perfect system, but it is the best legal system in the world and we should all thank God that we have it’.

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