(MARIETTA, Ga.) — It was clearly going to be a grueling day of testimony for Nick Smith as he was about to be cross-examined by the man accused of murdering his mother and stabbing him 18 times when he was only 5 years old.
Smith began crying shortly after taking the stand in Marietta, Ga., and was just spelling his name.
Smith, now 22, was testifying in the murder trial of Waseem Daker, who was acting as his own attorney.
Daker spent 10 years in prison for stalking Loretta Spencer Blatz, who was roommates with Nick Smith and his mother, Karmen Smith.
Shortly before Daker went to prison in 1995, Karmen Smith was strangled and Nick Smith was savagely attacked when he came home from school.
Smith recounted the assault in court Tuesday for prosecutors and then was cross-examined by Daker. His testimony, he noted to prosecutors, came on what would have been his mother’s birthday.
“I got home from school and my mom’s car was still in the driveway so I thought she was home,” Smith said through tears. “And I went downstairs and she wasn’t there.”
He said he went to upstairs to play with a friend, but returned again looking for his mother, but saw a man there instead.
“From what I could tell it was a man, but it was really dark and I just assumed that it was someone that I knew….The person in the room grabbed me and started stabbing me a bunch and I tried to yell and he covered my mouth and then he kept stabbing me,” Smith said.
The stabbings, he said, “felt like I was getting punched.”
Smith said he remembered a gloved hand over his mouth. He said his assailant was also wearing a black mask of some sort that covered his face. He said because of the mask he wasn’t able to get a good look at the man who attacked him.
“I have stab wounds all over my chest and a stab wound in my hand,” he testified and lifted his shirt to show the jury the 17 stab wounds on his chest and one to his hand.
When Daker took over the questioning, he asked Smith if he had heard the recordings of the statements he gave right after the attack. Smith responded that he wouldn’t want to, and said he doesn’t remember telling the detectives at the time that he could see his attacker’s eyes, which he said were blue.
“I was in the hospital and had gotten stabbed repeatedly by you, so I don’t think that’s a very good time to be asking a 5-year-old questions like that,” Smith responded.
Daker had long been a suspect in Karmen Smith’s murder, but it wasn’t until 2009 that hairs found on Karmen Smith’s body matched Daker’s DNA.
It was the second day of dramatic testimony in the trial. Last Friday, Blatz took the stand and was clearly rattled having to be grilled by the man imprisoned for stalking her relentlessly and accused of murdering her roommate.
After several hours of questioning, Blatz fought back against Daker when he asked the judge to label her testimony during his questioning as “inappropriate.”
“Well, you know, it’s really inappropriate that you stalk me and harass me, and you’re sitting here asking me questions, and I have to come back with you and answer your questions, that’s hard for me,” she said, breaking down and sobbing.
“I didn’t realize this was going to turn into murder. My God, I mean, if I would have known I would have taken notes,” she told the court.
Daker was imprisoned for stalking Blatz after the two met on a paintball team in 1995. He began calling her at all hours, showing up unexpectedly at her home and refusing to leave, and even breaking into her home.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Rebecca Clyde, KSL.com
Herb Scribner, Deseret News
Faith Karimi, CNN