The Judge's Mistakes

The trial should have decided:

  1. Does being attacked by those who have previously stolen guns create reasonable belief of great bodily harm?
  2. Is violently breaking into an occupied home a felony and do five previous burglaries and being equipped for a sixth constitute sufficient proof of intent?

Either is sufficient to acquit.

“The issue for his (Smith’s) fear is that the court understands that a gun or two guns were stolen and they were not recovered and they were out there and could be used and his fear is that they would be used.”

- Judge Anderson
Trial transcript, Pages 1498-1499

One of the guns was later recovered. Judge Anderson ruled, on his own, without any request by the prosecution, that it would NOT be admitted as evidence. “The shotgun doesn’t come in.” – page 1492 and “here is the issue: the gun is not coming in.” – page 1498. So the jury was not allowed to connect Mr. Smith’s fear with any physical evidence for that fear.

Why did Judge Anderson allow only six family passes for the trial when 30 were allowed for the Brady/Kifer families?