by Sam Hieb
A former FBI agent has released a report stating Kalvin Michael Smith deserves a news trial for the brutal 1997 beating of Silk Plant Forest employee Jill Marker:
Chris Swecker, a former assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division, said at a news conference that Winston-Salem police detectives provided inaccurate court testimony, failed to document evidence that might have been favorable to Smith and did not thoroughly pursue two other suspects who had long criminal records and had been placed at the scene of the crime.
….Swecker was especially critical of Don Williams, the lead detective in the case, who he called disorganized and in “over his head.”
“It is clear that the Silk Plant Forest investigation was seriously flawed and woefully incomplete, thus calling into question whether the original trial jury rendered their verdict based on all the relevant and accurate facts of the case,” Swecker said in the report.
Here in G’boro we were reminded that police do indeed make mistakes, as evidenced by the ‘shortfalls’ in GPD’s investigation of the Ransom Hobbs murder case that resulted in the release of a suspect after a year in jail.
By the same token —it’s kinda (emphasis on kinda) like the recent consultant’s report on the proposed downtown performing arts center. Anyone think the Silk Plant Forest Truth Committee would pay Swecker $2,500 to conclude Smith doesn’t deserve a new trial?