Jury sees demonstration of medical examiner attack - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Jury sees demonstration of medical examiner attack

Two federal agents got on a courtroom floor Wednesday to recreate a former medical examiner's description of an attack against him. O.C. Smith is accused of faking a barb wire and explosives attack on himself in June 2002. He is on trial in U.S. District Court charged with lying to federal authorities and illegal possession of a bomb. Prosecutors question why Smith put up no resistance during the attack and contend he should have been hurt more than he was. He was found tied up in an outside stairwell of the Regional Forensic Center with a bomb hung around his next. Defense witness David McElreath, a retired Marine officer, said resisting a physical attack is not always the best strategy. McElreath, who said he has known Smith for 25 years, said a victim must "rapidly assess the situation and make a determination whether the best way to respond is actively or passively." Smith, 52, is a Naval reserve officer and the extent of his military training is an issue at the trial. Based on Smith's description of the attack, U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins had Mike Rowland of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lie face down on the courtroom floor. ATF agent Paul Kwiatkowski sat on the small of Rowland's back facing his feet. As Kwiatkowski reached down as if to tie the feet, Rowland's hands were free. "Is this an opportunity to seize the initiative?" Cummins asked McElreath. "It's difficult to say," McElreath responded. Prosecutors contend Smith staged the attack because of a mental disorder. Smith says the attack was real. His report of the attack set off an intense investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Authorities say the bomb, which was removed by Memphis police, was capable of exploding.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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