Jessica9459’s Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Homeless Murder Trial Underway at Story County Courthouse

Glenn Smith, 50, Credit: Story County Jail.

Glenn Smith, 50, Credit: Story County Jail.

(The first in a series of blog posts about a homeless murder trial)

The second murder trial of a homeless drifter accused of killing another man at a homeless camp in south Ames in 2008 is underway today at the Story County Courthouse in Nevada.

Glenn A. Smith, 50, is accused of stabbing Danny McGonigle to death during a fight in May of 2008. Smith and McGonigle got into a fist fight and wrestling match near a wooded area south of the Department of Transportation after spending the day drinking May 19, 2008.

Smith walked away from the fight with a scrape to his knee and cuts on his hand. McGonigle died on the way to the hospital. He had 32 stab wounds to his face, neck and chest area.

Smith was originally found guilty of second-degree murder in April of 2009. However the verdict was set aside in December of 2009 after Smith’s attorneys asked for a new trial saying that the verdict was contrary to the evidence.

Smith admitted to stabbing McGonigle, but has said it was an act of self defense.

The new trial has been delayed until this week because Smith had been diagnosed with a mental disorder while in jail.

* This story originally ran Thursday, May 30, 2013.

http://ames.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/homeless-murder-trial-underway-at-story-county-courthouse_49e69ce9

(Second post in a series of posts on homeless murder trial)

Attorney: If He Dies Roll Him Into the Creek

“If he lives, he lives. If he dies roll him into the creek.”

Those were the last words heard by Danny McGonigle before his death, Story County Attorney Tiffany Meredith told the jury in opening statements Thursday in the murder trial of Glenn Smith.

Smith, 50, is accused of stabbing McGonigle to death in May of 2008 after the pair of homeless drifters spent the day drinking and got into an argument.

After the fight, Smith told a third homeless man, Larry Fowler, “If he lives, he lives. If he dies roll him into the creek,” Meredith told the jury.

Meredith said Smith arrived in Ames just a few days before the murder and met Larry Fowler, another homeless man, and asked for McGonigle. Meredith told the jury that the men involved in the fight and Fowler, who was in a tent nearby, were all homeless drifters by choice. McGonigle and Fowler chose to live in a wooded area south of the Department of Transportation and Fowler had a job, Meredith said.

Smith and McGonigle came to Fowler’s camp with a 30-pack of beer on the evening of May 18 and Smith asked Fowler to come out and drink, she said.

Fowler will testify that he thought he saw the men get into a fist fight later and saw some swings and saw them rolling on the ground, Meredith said.

Smith had a scrape to his knee and a cut to his thumb and he walked away, she said.

“McGonigle suffered not one stab wound, not two, but 32 stab wounds,” Meredith said.

After the fight was over Smith told Fowler, “You never saw me. If he lives, he lives. If he dies roll him in the creek,” Meredith told the jury.

Meredith said what Fowler saw next was a lot of blood and a seriously injured McGonigle.

Fowler called 911 and waited for help to arrive.

Meredith said there is no question that Smith stabbed McGonigle.

“He stabbed him repeatedly,” Meredith said.

But Meredith said there was no justification, it was not done in self-defense.

“It was murder,” Meredith said.

* This story originally ran Thursday, May 30, 2013.

http://ames.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/attorney-if-he-dies-roll-him-into-the-creek

(Third in  a series of posts on a homeless murder trial)

‘Stop Fighting I’ll Get an Ambulance’

Defense Attorney Patrick Peters told a jury Thursday, that a homeless drifter only stabbed another to save himself during a drunken fight in May of 2008.

The second murder trial for Glenn A Smith, 50, began Thursday at the Story County Courthouse in Nevada. Smith is accused of stabbing Danny McGonigle in a homeless camp south of the Iowa Department of Transportation building on May 19, 2008. McGonigle died en route to the hospital. He had 32 stab wounds.

“What do you do in the dark of night, in the woods, when a much larger man without a logical or discernible purpose in a drunken rage, charges you and threatens to kick your head in and threatens to kill you and begins to assault you?” Peters asked the jury. “What do you do, when that man will not stop?”

McGonigle, who stood three inches taller and outweighed Smith by 45 pounds, was the aggressor, Peters said. Smith just wanted to drink beer, he said.

Deadly force is justified when that person believes he is in danger, Peters said. For murder to be proven, Peters said, prosecutors will have to show that there was an evil intent before the act.

“Not during the act, not after,” Peters said.

Peters said Smith arrived in Ames with another man just days before the death.

Smith spent his first night sleeping near the gate of a golf course before befriending a third homeless man named Larry Fowler, Peters said.

When Fowler had to leave for work, Smith ended up meeting McGonigle near Hy-Vee and the pair spent the day drinking before returning to Fowler’s campsite about 11:30 p.m., Peters said.

Smith didn’t know that Fowler and McGonigle had a history and that Fowler had banned McGonigle from his campsite before, Peters said.

The argument began when McGonigle didn’t want to share his beer with Fowler.

Peters said that Smith didn’t argue but that McGonigle punched Smith twice in the face.

Fowler then came out of his tent and saw McGonigle walk to his bike, Peters said. McGonigle then asked Fowler why he was looking at his bike. Fowler said he wasn’t looking at his bike and McGonigle then charged Smith, Peters said.

Peters said McGonigle hit Smith and kicked him and the pair fell to the ground wrestling when the stabbings took place. Once Smith had the upper hand and sat upon McGonigle he didn’t hit or stab McGonigle, Peters said.

“What he says is ‘Stop fighting. I’ll get an ambulance’,” Peters said.

Peters said this is where the stories of the prosecution and defense diverge.

Smith took two beers and left, Peters said. Fowler said Smith walked north to Hy-Vee. Smith said he walked south toward Highway 30. Fowler called 911 and a belligerent McGonigle swore at paramedics who tried to help him and threatened to kill Smith almost a dozen times, Peters said.

Doctors will tell the jury that none of McGonigle’s injuries were debilitating enough to stop an attack, Peters said. Evidence will show that the stab wounds came from different directions indicating that both men’s positions were constantly changing, Peters said.

Smith had no motive to kill McGonigle.

“All Glenn wanted to do is drink,” Peters said.

* This story originally ran Thursday, May 30, 2013.

http://ames.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/peters-stop-fighting-ill-get-an-ambulance

Advertisements

May 30, 2013 - Posted by | Ames Patch

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: