Susan Smith's lawyer to see ex-husband's book

July 14, 1995|By Knight-Ridder Newspapers

UNION, S.C. -- David Bruck should have some interesting reading this weekend.

He'll have one of the first copies of "Beyond All Reason," David Smith's tell-all book about life with ex-wife Susan Smith, now on trial for killing their sons, Michael, 3, and Alex, 14 months.

Mr. Bruck, Susan Smith's attorney, reached an agreement with Kensington Publishing that was announced in court yesterday as Mrs. Smith's trial entered its fourth day. Only one juror was seated yesterday, bringing the total chosen to six.

Mr. Bruck also will get a copy of David Smith's contract with the publishing house and bank statements for accounts Mr. Smith set up to handle money sent to him by people around the country. No one said how much money was in the accounts.

Mike Turner, David Smith's attorney, said there were two accounts, one for money donated specifically for memorials to ,, the boys, the other for money donated for Mr. Smith himself. Neither account has been touched, Mr. Turner said.

David Smith has received about 20,000 cards and letters since the children were killed, Mr. Turner said, some with $10 slipped inside and a note telling him to use it to go to dinner or something. The book contract has been reported to be worth more than $100,000.

"My client is not trying to hide anything," Mr. Turner said. "But we object to turning over records and documents that are not relevant."

Circuit Judge William Howard said all information about money made by David Smith as a result of the children's deaths would be relevant. If Susan Smith is convicted and the trial moves into the death penalty phase, the state will try to show that her ex-husband has suffered greatly because the children are dead. Receiving money from their deaths could be a mitigating factor for the defense, the judge said.

In another development yesterday, the court discovered a major omission in the prosecution's witness list: David Smith's name was left off. The error almost cost the prosecution dearly. Mr. Bruck asked the court to reinstate the five peremptory challenges he used because the jurors were not asked whether they knew David Smith.

Instead of restoring the challenges, Judge Howard brought all five people Mr. Bruck had struck back into court to see if any one of them knew Mr. Smith. If they had, they would have been deemed unqualified to serve by the judge and Mr. Bruck would not have had to use a strike.

The judge also brought back the five jurors already seated. They have been moved to a Spartanburg, S.C., hotel, reportedly because they were unhappy with their Union accommodations.

All 10 people brought back said they did not know David Smith.

The omission was discovered when a potential juror told the court that he had gone to David Smith's house for three hours the night of the children's funeral to pay his respects. He said the knew Mr. Smith from working at Winn Dixie.

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