(NEW YORK) — While testifying in the murder trial of Waseem Daker, the Georgia man accused of killing flight attendant Karmen Smith in 1995 and stabbing her then 5-year-old son, Smith’s ex-husband broke down in tears as he told the court that he had absolutely nothing to do with her murder.
Michael Smith testified Tuesday at the Marietta, Ga., trial of Daker, who is accused of strangling Karmen Smith as an act of revenge against her roommate, Loretta Spencer Blatz, who helped send Daker to prison for harassing her. Just before going to serve a 10-year prison sentence for stalking Blatz, prosecutors say Daker killed Smith.
Michael Smith told jurors he did have an argument with his ex-wife the morning of her murder. But when prosecutors asked if he had anything to do with Karmen Smith’s murder, he said, “Absolutely not.”
Police believe Daker killed Karmen Smith and then stabbed her 5-year son 18-times in a wicked act of revenge against Blatz. 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 that matched Daker’s DNA.
In court, prosecutors played a 17-year-old recording of one his many phone calls that took place between Loretta Blatz and Waseem Daker.
“I don’t know why you get so freaked out and you frighten me, and you know you frighten me and I don’t appreciate it,” Blatz is heard saying on the call.
Daker responded to her, saying, “Maybe you’re scared of me but … you always think I’m going to kill you. You know you’re lying because you know I got better things to worry about than you.”
On Tuesday, which was the first full day that Daker, who is acting as his own attorney, presented his defense, jurors heard from one of his witnesses — the owners of the paintball group where he and Blatz first met.
Melody Fortin said that it was Blatz who was obsessed with Daker after they met — when she was 30 and he was 17.
“I told her at that point she wasn’t allowed to play anymore because I was concerned about the relationship and I didn’t think it was a good situation for you to be in,” Fortin said.
Fortin also said that after Blatz had obtained a restraining order against Daker, she still wanted to play in the tournament with him.
On Wednesday, Daker has more witnesses, and everyone is waiting to see whether he too will testify in his own defense, as the law allows.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Dylan Byers Sara Murray and Kevin Liptak, CNN
Samira Said, CNN
Betsy Klein, CNN
Mariel Turner, Kacey Montoya & Nerissa Knight, KTLA