With the expected finale of the Peter Mallory trial drawing near, the courtroom was filled with intensity.
Wednesday began with more than 90 minutes of heated debate about whether to keep Russell Smiley’s testimony. Smiley testified in court Monday that he had seen files names on Mallory’s computer and according to Judge Blackmon, the ages Smiley described in court were different than what he had told Detective Chris Pritchett days after Mallory’s arrest in 2011.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin McMurry argued that it is not uncommon that witnesses get in court and give more information under oath than they would have given in previous interviews. McMurry argued that sometimes they don’t know what witnesses will say when they take the stand and that no law was violated.
Along with Smiley’s inconsistent statements, the defense supposedly had no prior knowledge of what Smiley’s testimony would entail, which led Blackmon to lean toward a mistrial.
“The defense’s failure to use all witnesses provided to them is not our fault,” McMurry frustratedly argued. “There’s no need for a mistrial.”
Blackmon stated that Smiley’s interviews were not turned over to the defense prior to his testimony. He surmised that the information was purposefully not turned over and that it is not a coincidence that the testimony Smiley would give was not in the prosecution’s opening statement.
Blackmon informed the jurors that Smiley’s testimony would be stricken and that they were to erase Smiley’s testimony from their minds and to pretend that he was never there.
After the intense debate, the defense began questioning their witnesses in the case.
Mallory’s pastor, wife, daughter, sister and several friends testified. They all attested that Mallory had a great reputation in the community.
When shown the images from a camera hidden under Mallory’s desk, aimed at the private areas of two females, his wife Sara Beth Mallory, said that she would still consider him a man of good character.
Jerry Rigby, a character witness in the case, has attended church with Mallory for more than 30 years and considered Mallory a man of good character. McMurry also showed Rigby the images from the camera and asked what he thought about the cameras being put under the desk as security cameras.
“If the cameras were put there, they were put there for a reason,” Rigby said.
More character witnesses were expected to testify today and Peter Mallory was expected to take the stand. Blackmon estimated that the trial could wrap up Friday.