A bomb, barbed wire and new twists in the O.C. Smith trial - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Posted by: George Metaxas, 2/8/05, 4:30 p.m.

A bomb, barbed wire and new twists in the O.C. Smith trial

Prosecutors gave their spin on what happened in June 2002 when a security guard discovered then medical examiner O.C. Smith outside the forensic center with acid burns on one side of his face, barbed wire and a motion sensitive bomb strapped around his neck. For the first time pictures of Smith were shown to the jury. Smith's body was not wrapped in barbed wire. The pictures taken by police showed a strand or two of barbed wire wrapped around his head and wrapped around his mouth, very tightly. He had barbed wire around his wrists and they were pulled up. Prosecutors said Smith could have done it all himself, that the burns from lye thrown on his face were not that severe. Smith had very few scratches on his face and hands, but the photo did show a large red mark on the right side of his face from the lye. Defense attorneys told jurors no one who saw Smith the night of the attack thought he made it up. That idea only started surfacing after disgruntled former employees at the forensics center started talking. Prosecutors called as their first witness attorney Robert Hutton who was one of three people to receive strange letters involving a death row inmate Phillip Workman. Robert Hutton, prosecution witness said, "I think it's a very bizarre set of circumstances, so I haven't kept much involved in it, in the case. Don't know much about it. I just was subpoenaed by the government to come here and testify." Hutton says he doesn't know who wrote the letter.

Testimony from O.C. Smith played a major role in a clemency hearing for convicted cop killer Philip Workman, who is sitting on death row. New claims could shed new doubt in the Workman case. Retired Memphis police officer and federal inmate Charlotte Creasy claims her former colleagues covered up details of the deadly shooting of Lieutenant Ronald Oliver. Workman was convicted and sentenced for that shooting. But Creasy says a police officer actually killed Lieutenant Oliver back in 1981, not Workman. Tuesday, one of Workman's attorneys told Action News 5 there are too many unanswered questions in the case for Workman to be sitting on death row. Robert Hutton, Workman's attorney said, "Do we really want to take the chance of executing somebody, when there are so many questions that keep on surfacing. Why not just let the man have life without parole." Hutton also would not comment on the question of a possible police cover-up. Meanwhile, Charlotte Creasy is serving time for providing fake driving certificates to illegal immigrants through a Memphis driving school she owned.

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