Albany man kept bound and gagged for second day of trial - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany man kept bound and gagged for second day of trial

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Worth Co. hosts open house

    Worth Co. hosts open house

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:24:37 GMT
    It's already back to school time for some south Georgia students. Classes start tomorrow in Worth County.On Monday afternoon, all the schools held open houses for parents and students.At Worth County elementary, families got to met the teachers and get acquainted with the school.The Principal says the staff is ready, and parents told us they appreciated the open house."We are just going to keep going strong with things that we have done in the past, we had a very successful school year last y...More >>
    It's already back to school time for some south Georgia students. Classes start tomorrow in Worth County.On Monday afternoon, all the schools held open houses for parents and students.At Worth County elementary, families got to met the teachers and get acquainted with the school.The Principal says the staff is ready, and parents told us they appreciated the open house."We are just going to keep going strong with things that we have done in the past, we had a very successful school year last y...More >>
  • Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:20:11 GMT
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
  • Football coaches stress hydration as South Georgia heats up

    Football coaches stress hydration as South Georgia heats up

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:12:23 GMT
    Football is an intense, and grueling collision sport, and when South Georgia heats up, practice is even more stressful on the body."We don't wanna lose a kid because of the fact they are not hydrating themselves," says Monroe Head Coach Charles Truitt.That's why coaches stress the importance of staying hydrated on and off the field."We preach when they get home at night after football practice, to hydrate themselves and then we they get up in the morning hydrate themselves," says Truitt.After...More >>
    Football is an intense, and grueling collision sport, and when South Georgia heats up, practice is even more stressful on the body."We don't wanna lose a kid because of the fact they are not hydrating themselves," says Monroe Head Coach Charles Truitt.That's why coaches stress the importance of staying hydrated on and off the field."We preach when they get home at night after football practice, to hydrate themselves and then we they get up in the morning hydrate themselves," says Truitt.After...More >>

The trial resumed today for an Albany man who's bound and gagged during the proceedings.

Reginald Smith, charged with pulling a gun on a police officer, refuses to sit quietly while his case is heard.

So he's being tried in absentia, and that's something that rarely happens.

Thursday afternoon Reginald Smith was brought back into the courtroom bound and gagged, and offered the chance to testify.

But he made it clear he didn't want to talk by vigorously shaking his head.  And then in front of the jury made so much noise he was taken out of the courtroom again.

Reginald Smith is bound in a restraint chair and gagged with several layers of cloth and duct tape, but is still able to make a lot of noise. That is why for the second day,most of his trial, he is kept out of the courtroom.

 Senior Judge Loring Gray said "It's a very rare case where you see it come to this kind of restraint."

Judge Loring Gray says there are well laid out court procedures for handling a defendant like Smith. He was ruled mentally competent to stand trial, and Judge Willie Lockette warned Smith what would happen if he continued to disrupt the trial.

Five times yesterday and three times today Smith was taken back into the courtroom and given the chance to be untied, but each time he refused.

Smith was taken to a holding cell near the courtroom where he was kept tied, but the gag was removed, following federally mandated guidelines to protect him.

Sheriff Sproul said "this chair has been approved by the Department of Justice. It's a restraint chair where every 15 minutes a certain limb has to be released from the chair. We have a registered nurse with Phoebe Medical, that works our jail, there."

Defense attorneys say Smith's actions and absence from the courtroom is only hurting his chance for acquittal.

Attorney Jerry Brimberry said " He's really committing judicial suicide, is what it amounts to."

 Gray said "You have to protect his right on confrontation under the Sixth Amendment. His right to confront the witnesses that testify against him. A constitutional right but one that can be given up."

 Sproul said "We are going to make sure he gets a fair trial."

Even if Smith doesn't want one.

The jury has been in the courtroom at least twice during the trial while Smith was tied and gagged.

Both times the Judge instructed the jury to decide the trial on the evidence not on Smith's behavior.

Prosecutors finished testimony Thursday afternoon, and Smith refused to testify. The jury is being charged.


Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.