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Mistrial Request Denied In Murder Case

Judge Vanessa Jackson

Day 2 of the murder trial of Jeffrey Smithson on Wednesday (Dec. 5, 2012) saw a call from defense attorney Margo Kilgore for a retrial. Kilgore made the request after a Manchester Police officer testify that he was told by a friend of Virginia White who was found murdered in her apartment that Jeffrey Smithson had just been released from prison, when in reality he had been out of prison for some time. Kilgore stated that the statement was not true and would prejudice the jury. But District Attorney Mickey Layne argued that the judge could instruct the jury that the statement was not accurate and that they should disregard it. That is what Judge Vanessa Jackson did and instructed the jury that the statement was not true and for them to put it behind them. Manchester Police Officer Sgt. Justin Smith who was the first officer on the scene the night that Ms. White’s body was found testified that after he found the body he secured the murder scene and called for investigators to assist at the Ingram Apartments in Manchester. TBI agent Kendall Barham testified about the murder scene when he arrived to assist Manchester Police investigators in the murder investigation. He told of the evidence that he collected at the scene and sent to the state crime lab in Nashville as well as finding the body with panty hose tied tightly around Ms. White’s neck. The trial continues today in Manchester.