john lewis timberland Court declares mistrial in Chad Smith sex abuse case
On Tuesday morning, the Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen declared a mistrial in Chad Alan Smith case because of a conflict with the Humboldt County Public Defender Office.
According to court records, Smith, 43, of Eureka faces 12 felony counts including performing oral copulation or penetration of a child younger than 10, lewd or lascivious acts with a minor younger than 14 years old and performing lewd acts when the defendant is 10 years older than child. Within those counts there are 24 special allegations of committing a serious sex offense, having multiple victims and having victims younger than 14. The dates of the alleged offenses range from July 2011 up to the month before his arrest in June 2017.
According to court records,
Smith jury trial started Jan. 22 but Reinholtsen declared a mistrial Tuesday morning. According to the minutes, Smith was present. He is represented by the public defender office and the Humboldt County District Attorney Office is handling the prosecution.
(Joanne) Carter requests the court declare a mistrial due to the conflict declared, the hearing minutes read.
That was followed by Smith requesting the case be dismissed, according to the minutes.
finds that there is a legal necessity to declare a mistrial due to the conflict with the public defender office, the minutes read.
will appoint private counsel, the minutes state.
Attempts to reach Carter for comment about the conflict were unsuccessful by the Tuesday evening publishing deadline.
investigations often do not stop when charges are filed. Sometimes the prosecutor or the defense learns of additional witnesses and provides that information to the other side after the trial has started. Unfortunately, in this case additional investigation led to a new witness that resulted in the Public Defender Office having a conflict. A new attorney will be appointed for the defendant tomorrow,
Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming wrote in an email to this reporter on Tuesday afternoon.