Was it a set up? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Was it a set up?

May 3, 2006

Sumter County - Defense attorneys for a Superior Court judge on trial for domestic violence claim the accuser made up her story and set up Judge Rucker Smith. Day three of the Sumter County judge's trial began with the cross examination of his former girlfriend. The defense claims she scratched Smith in the face and sent vindictive e-mails.

Attorney Jerry Brimberry says, "I'm going to direct your attention back to the afternoon of July 31st, 2005." That's the day the state's key witness, and alleged victim, 30-year old Rachel Oliver says Judge Rucker Smith became violent after he had several drinks at her home.

Oliver says Smith pushed her off her porch, dragged her down a hallway and even choked her. Brimberry says, "Come over here and show us how you were being choked."

Oliver demonstrates, "As I recall, I was being held down this way with one of his hands around my neck this way. He was holding me down and choking me at the same time."

She says she was finally able to get away and ran inside her house to call 911. The defense hinted that Oliver orchestrated the event and set Rucker Smith up, using an email she wrote almost two months before the night of the fight to demonstrate the point.

In that email she says, "I will see you fail. I wish the worst on you. I'm watching and waiting for my opportunity. Your's is coming."

But Oliver says she wrote the e-mail to further communicate with Smith the way she felt about him. She says, "He asked me point blank would I vote for him when he ran and I told him point blank, no I would not vote for him. I told him that I believed that he was a corrupt judge. I believed that he was then. I believe that he is now."

But whether a jury believes he is guilty of domestic violence remains to be seen.

A former girlfriend of Judge Smith's from more than 20 years ago also took the stand. She says Smith was never violent to her but that he may have a problem with alcohol.

comments: news@walb.com?subject=RSmithDay3

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • The Latest: Irma weakens into a tropical depression

    The Latest: Irma weakens into a tropical depression

    Monday, September 11 2017 3:27 AM EDT2017-09-11 07:27:29 GMT
    Tuesday, September 12 2017 2:42 AM EDT2017-09-12 06:42:09 GMT
    Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm as the massive hurricane zeroed in on the Tampa Bay region early Monday after hammering much of Florida with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.More >>
    Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm as the massive hurricane zeroed in on the Tampa Bay region early Monday after hammering much of Florida with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.More >>
  • Input needed to revitalize Tifton's Matt Wilson area

    Input needed to revitalize Tifton's Matt Wilson area

    Thursday, September 21 2017 10:15 AM EDT2017-09-21 14:15:16 GMT
    Community leaders want to make some improvements to this area known as New Front (Source: WALB)Community leaders want to make some improvements to this area known as New Front (Source: WALB)

    After a successful revitalization of downtown Tifton, community leaders say they're ready to take on a new project. They're now going to focus on the Phillipsburg and Unionville neighborhood near Matt Wilson Elementary School.

    More >>

    After a successful revitalization of downtown Tifton, community leaders say they're ready to take on a new project. They're now going to focus on the Phillipsburg and Unionville neighborhood near Matt Wilson Elementary School.

    More >>
  • Farmer Fredo to host 'grow your own groceries' class

    Farmer Fredo to host 'grow your own groceries' class

    Thursday, September 21 2017 8:33 AM EDT2017-09-21 12:33:30 GMT
    Participants will learn how to grow their own groceries (Source: WALB)Participants will learn how to grow their own groceries (Source: WALB)

    As the new urban planning director for the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation, Fredando "Farmer Fredo" Jackson has made it his mission to make South Georgians better gardeners.

    More >>

    As the new urban planning director for the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation, Fredando "Farmer Fredo" Jackson has made it his mission to make South Georgians better gardeners.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly