(MARIETTA, Ga.) — Prosecutors in the Waseem Daker murder trial showed jurors that when he was arrested in 2009, they found rope, handcuffs and how-to manuals about getting away with murder in his possession.
In court Monday, jurors were presented with 12-year-old emails that prosecutors say prove Daker obtained disturbing materials before allegedly killing Karmen Smith in 1995 and stabbing her then 5-year-old son, Nick Smith, 18 times. The “how-to” titles were How to Get Away with Murder and Kill Without Joy.
Daker is accused of strangling flight attendant Karmen Smith as an act of revenge against her roommate, Loretta Spencer Blatz, who helped send him to prison for harassing her. Just before going to serve a 10-year prison sentence for stalking Blatz, prosecutors say Daker allegedly killed Smith.
Daker is acting as his own attorney in the Marietta, Ga., courtroom, which has made for some awkward questioning when Blatz and Nick Smith, now 22, took the stand. Judge Mary Staley has nearly lost her cool a few times in this case, clearly annoyed with Daker’s courtroom antics.
“There are numerous occasions during the trial that your veracity has been in strong question by me. Strong!” said Staley.
She added, “And you don’t try cases by ambush.”
Daker had long been a suspect in Karmen Smith’s murder, but it wasn’t until 2009 that, according to authorities, tests showed hairs found on Smith’s body matched Daker’s DNA.
Daker and prosecutors are fighting over those very DNA tests from the scene of the crime that police say cracked the case and led to his arrest.
Daker questioned homicide detective John Dawes on Monday, and asked why police did not submit every piece of evidence for DNA testing.
Dawes explained that once they had Daker’s DNA linking him to the crime scene there was no need for more tests.
Daker could start arguing his innocence as soon as this afternoon and he could testify while acting as his own lawyer.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jennifer Graham, Deseret News
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Elise Labott, Kevin Liptak and Patrick Oppmann, CNN
Tracy Bloom & Chip Yost, CNN