Attorney asks for hard drives in Forest Hill theft case

Clayton Smart, photographed before he was taken into custody.
Clayton Smart, photographed before he was taken into custody.

By Janice Broach - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Former Forest Hill Funeral Home owner Clayton Smart was in a Memphis courtroom Thursday, facing more questions from a judge.

Smart's attorneys said Thursday they are waiting on evidence from prosecutors before they will know if they can go to trial next month, as scheduled.

Smart walked into the courtroom at 201 Poplar early Thursday morning to find out if he would go to trial. He has been behind bars since his arrest almost two years ago because he can't make his $500,000 bond. He and two business partners are accused of stealing $22 million from funeral trust funds at Forest Hill Cemetery funeral homes.
Defense attorneys are trying to get computer hard drives containing financial information that were confiscated by investigators from prosecutors.

"The state has to get a number of computer hard drives. There's a lot of information on those hard drives," defense attorney Lee Gerald said.

The trial is expected to take more than a month or two, and will likely have complicated financial testimony.

Still, Smart's attorneys are confident.

"I think it will be an extensive and complex with a favorable result for Mr. Smart," Gerald said.

Smart's trial is set for the end of August, but defense attorneys say they may not be ready if the computer hard drives from prosecutors contain a huge amount of information.

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