Attempted-murder defendant to his wife: ‘This is going to be bad’
In El Dorado County Superior Court on Tuesday, prosecutors played a tape of the first phone call between Konolus Smith and his wife, Pamela Smith, following her release from Barton Memorial Hospital after an overdose of pills.
Pamela Smith says her husband bound her wrists and ankles with a bathrobe belt and forced her to take a combination of pills while threatening to stab her with a pair of scissors at their Meyers home in the early-morning hours of Aug. 29.
Konolus Smith is charged with attempted murder, false imprisonment, making criminal threats and spousal battery in connection with the alleged attack.
The recording was played during Deputy District Attorney Peter O’Hara’s questioning of El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sgt. Gary Parker, who recorded the call from the couple’s home Aug. 30.
In his opening statement, O’Hara called the contents of the tape “some steps short of a complete confession.”
“What happened?” Pamela Smith asks on the recording. “How come you got so angry?”
“Snapped, (expletive),” answers her husband.
On the tape, both Konolus and Pamela Smith say they are confused about what happened the previous morning, and Konolus Smith twice asks his wife to call him back in two hours.
“I got to go to an attorney first, because this is going to be bad,” Konolus Smith says at one point.
After the tape was played, Parker testified about collecting evidence from the Smiths’ home.
An Advil pill, found in the hallway of the home, was introduced into evidence. Parker said the pill appeared to be “partially ingested.”
The hallway is one of several locations in the house Pamela Smith says her husband attacked her. She also has said she was having trouble swallowing all the pills allegedly being forced on her by her husband.
Konolus Smith’s lawyer, Jordan Morgenstern, began his cross-examination of Parker by asking how likely it would be to find pills at the scene of an attempted suicide by overdose.
Parker said it would not be uncommon to find pills at such a scene.
The defense has argued Pamela Smith swallowed a combination of pills Aug. 29 in an attempted suicide.
Also during cross-examination, Morgenstern asked if Pamela Smith’s testimony has been consistent with an initial report given to authorities.
“Overall,” Parker responded, noting she included additional information not found on the report during her testimony.
Throughout the trial, the defense has focused on drawing discrepancies between police reports, hospital documents and Pamela Smith’s testimony, saying she is lying about the alleged attack.
Before the defense’s cross-examination of Parker, Judge James Dawson dismissed a male juror because he was expecting to adopt a child today.
The juror was replaced by one of two alternates who have been present since the beginning of the trial. The alternate also was a male, keeping the composition of the jury at seven males and five females.
Morgenstern’s cross-examination of Parker is expected to continue when the trial resumes today.
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