Deliberations begin in attempted-murder case | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Deliberations begin in attempted-murder case

Adam Jensen
El Dorado County Sheriff's OfficeKonolus Smith is on trial for attempted murder, accused of trying to kill his wife with an overdose of pills.
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Attorneys offered closing statements, and the jury began deliberating Wednesday in the trial of a Meyers man accused of attempting to kill his wife in August with an overdose of pills.

Deputy District Attorney Peter O’Hara contended during his closing argument in El Dorado Superior Court that the evidence presented during the trial abides by legal requirements for conviction on each of four counts. The accused man, Konolus Smith, faces charges of attempted murder, false imprisonment, spousal battery and making criminal threats.

O’Hara also defended the truthfulness of the alleged victim, Pamela Smith.

“She’s saying it as she knows it, the good and the bad,” he said.

But throughout the trial, defense attorney Jordan Morgenstern highlighted variations in Pamela Smith’s statements to Barton Memorial Hospital staff, sheriff’s officers and her own witness testimony.

During his closing statement, Morgenstern drew a large, red “12” on a flip chart, saying it represented the number of different accounts Pamela Smith has given about the alleged attack.

“I don’t think this is an attempted murder at all,” Morgenstern said. “I think this is a big story.”

The charges stem from Pamela Smith’s allegations that her husband tied her up and threatened to stab her with a pair of scissors if she didn’t swallow a combination of pills in the early morning of Aug. 29.

Closing statements followed a morning session in which Morgenstern cross-examined El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Gary Parker about a recording of the first phone call between the couple after the alleged attack.

Morgenstern asked Parker whether Konolus Smith admitted to specific allegations during the conversation. Parker testified that Konolus Smith did not make specific admissions.

But the investigator said he thought a portion of the recording – where Konolus Smith said, “Snapped, (expletive),” in response to Pamela Smith’s question as to why her husband got so angry – was an admission of guilt.

Morgenstern later asked Parker if, in the exchange, Konolus Smith admitted anything more than being angry.

Parker replied, “No.”

The jury of seven men and five women began deliberating the case at about 4 p.m. Wednesday. Deliberations are expected to continue today.


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