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Friday, August 18, 2006

Duke Case gets Judge W. Osmond Smith III

Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith IIISuperior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III has been tossed the Duke Lacrosse hot potato. Let's hope he doesn't drop it on the ground.

So Judge Smith doesn't like his first name and prefers Osmond? What is he trying to hide? Good lord, there goes the local North Carolina media again, dropping the damn ball. What the heck does the "W" stand for please? Can someone in Durham please start investigating these mysteries.

News & Observer reported

The lawyers and prosecutor in the Duke University lacrosse rape case have agreed to have Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III appointed to handle the trial.

Smith is the senior resident Superior Court judge for the judicial district that includes Person and Caswell counties. Durham's senior resident judge formally nominated Smith and asked the state's chief justice to declare the case "exceptional" and appoint Smith to handle the case.

The effort is rare for criminal cases in the state and apparently unique in Durham..
WRAL.com reported:
State Chief Justice Sarah Parker has signed off on an agreement that will allow a judge to preside over all proceedings in the Duke lacrosse rape case.

Superior Court Judge Osmond Smith will be assigned to the case, which is expected to go to trial in the spring...
Sides agree on judge for Duke lacrosse case [newsobserver.com, Aug. 18, 2006]
Judge Assigned To Handle Duke Lacrosse Rape Case [WRAL.com, Aug. 18, 2006]

WRAL: Aug. 17 Recommendation for Exceptional Case Status - letter dated Aug. 17th from Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson, Jr. to Chief Justice Sarah E. Parker..."we would like to recommmend for your consideration Judge Osmond Smith"...

comment: This case if it does go to trial will be one that "goes to the mattresses."

wral.com reported:
The trial of three Duke University lacrosse athletes accused of raping an exotic dancer could last longer than any other trial in Durham County, according to a Durham County judge...
Duke Lacrosse Trial Could Be Longest In Durham History [wral.com, Aug. 17, 2006]

Lawyer Kirk Osborn, representing Seligmann, said Friday that he was "really excited the case has been declared exceptional, and delighted we got Judge Smith. He's a very bright and competent judge who can focus on this case. We all greatly respect Osmond Smith."

Osborn said he would press to have a key evidentiary motion heard by Smith as soon as possible...
Smith tapped as judge for rape trial [heraldsun.com, Aug. 18, 2006]