RISON – The capital murder trial for Brad Hunter Smith of the Randall community, a suspect in the December 2015 murder of 22-year-old Cherris Faith Allbright, will begin as scheduled on Monday, July 24, in Rison, Cleveland County Circuit Clerk Jimmy Cummings confirmed Tuesday.
Smith is one of three suspects charged in Allbright’s death. The others are Jonathan Guenther of the Randall community and Joshua Brown of Rison. Their trials will be held at a later date.
All three are charged with capital murder, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse. The capital murder and kidnapping charges are Class “Y” felonies punishable by 10 to 40 years to life in prison, and a fine not to exceed $25,000. The death penalty is also applicable in capital murder cases.
Cummings said Circuit Judge David W. Talley heard and acted on the final motions in Smith’s case during court proceedings Tuesday at the Cleveland County Courthouse in Rison, thereby allowing the trial to move forward as scheduled. Smith is being represented by attorney Greg Robinson of Pine Bluff.
Cummings said Robinson acknowledged to Judge Talley Tuesday that his client had been offered a plea agreement by the prosecution, but his client declined the offer. The case is being prosecuted by 13th Judicial District Prosecutor David Butler with assistance from Cleveland County Deputy Prosecutor Tom Wynne.
Smith’s trail had been postponed two times previously due to motions filed by Robinson. The first trial was set for Jan. 23-27, but was rescheduled to March 27-31 after Robinson filed 30 motions in October 2016 asking the court for various changes in the case. Additional proceedings pushed the March date back to the week of July 24.
To read the full article, see the July 12, 2017 print or e-Herald edition of The Herald.