Capital murder trial rescheduled for April

September 12, 1998

The twice-postponed capital murder trial of Smith Harper Dean III was scheduled yesterday to begin April 5 in Howard County Circuit Court.

Dean, 39, of Hampstead is charged with two counts of murder in the June 1997 slayings of Sharon Lee Mechalske, 38, of Hampstead and Kent Leonard Cullison, 30, an Arcadia mail carrier. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The trial originally had been planned for June, but Dean attempted suicide that month. The case was rescheduled for trial Sept. 28, but it was postponed earlier this week so Dean's mental status could be evaluated after his lawyers filed a plea declaring that he was not criminally responsible by reason of insanity.

Pub Date: 9/12/98

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