March 21: Mack Smith murder trial, Day 2

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

Witnesses are taking the stand in a five-year-old murder case in a Columbia County courtroom.

Mack Smith was stabbed to death in 2001.

2 men, Barry Tabor and Corey Coggins, are standing trial for his murder.

News 12's Stephanie Baker reports the latest from Tuesday's day in court.

District Attorney Danny Craig brought in witnesses all day long.

One of Tuesday's witnesses was Christopher Jerrard, the man some believe accused Mack Smith of being a police informant.

One of the more compelling testimonies came Tuesday morning when a man claiming to be Coggins' best friend testified against him.

"The guy goes to open his door and he just falls down," said witness William Taylor.

The night ended as Mack Smith lay dead at his pick up truck.

Taylor says this is how it all started: "We were doing illegal drugs, things none of us should have been doing at that time."

That was at a hotel room. Taylor says the group, including the defendant, left when Smith showed up. They didn't know him well, and they got a warning form a friend.

"Chris Jerrard had said he heard he was a snitch, or had told on people and this and that, and he just thought it'd be best, you know, us having drugs and things in the hotel, that he not come up here," Taylor said.

They all headed to Barry Tabor's apartment, and witness Rachel Tatley remembers Corey Coggins had a knife that day.

"I'm sure that everyone there had a knife in their pocket, really, because we're all from the country, and that's what we do," Tatley said.

District Attorney Danny Craig says Smith showed up later to dispute rumors he was a narc. Then Craig said a series of fights broke out between Smith and the defendants. Investigator Ken Summers says Smith suffered from a fatal stab wound.

"We had a search warrant for one of the residences. We collected knives from that residence," Summers said.

Both witnesses remember the moment before Mack Smith died.

"Then a few minutes later, we heard a female's voice saying 'No, no, oh my God'," said Tatley.

"I never thought, you know, something like that would happen, but I did know that something was about to happen," Taylor said.

Attorneys say more testimonies will continue Wednesday. No word yet on whether Ashley Smith will testify.

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