Waseem Daker, who was sentenced to life in prison plus 47½ years in 2012 for the 1995 killing of Karmen Smith and the assault of her then 5-year-old son, Nick Smith, appeared before Judge Donald Howe on Wednesday morning regarding a list of motions related to another case where the suspect was convicted on stalking charges in 1996.
Howe, a visiting senior judge from Douglas County, dismissed the motions, which included a motion to disqualify all Cobb County judges, a motion to have a closed hearing on disqualifying the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office and a motion to disqualify the District Attorney’s Office.
“That case is done,” said Cobb County Assistant District Attorney Jesse Evans when asked about the motions after the 35-minute hearing before Howe.
The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed Daker’s 1996 conviction in 2000, therefore his motions before Howe were moot because the case is no longer pending and there are no other appellate grounds that he can legally argue before.
In 1996, Daker, now 35, was convicted of two counts of aggravated stalking against Loretta Spencer Blatz and he served 10 years in state prison for those crimes.
“(Daker is) trying to revisit a case and you’re not allowed to do that, so in trying to revisit that he wanted to kick us and the judges off the issue of revisiting it,” Evans said. “And if there’s nothing to revisit, there’s no need to recuse the judges or the state.”
Daker, who sat alone at the defendant’s table and was wearing an orange jumpsuit with his wrists shackled, spoke as if he had attended law school at some point throughout the hearing while attempting to argue why his motions should be upheld.
During the hearing, he cited several cases, specifically one of his own from 2005 — Daker vs. Williams — and thumbed through files inside more than 10 large envelopes he brought with him in preparation for the appearance.
Motion for a new trial
This morning Daker will appear back in Cobb County Superior Court in front of Judge Mary Staley for a hearing where he requests a new trial. Daker was convicted of murder in 2012 after a trial Staley presided over.
With this motion, Daker also subpoenaed a large number of people to testify or submit evidence.
The exact number of people subpoenaed is unknown, but before Wednesday morning’s hearing, a representative with the District Attorney’s Office asked those inside and outside of the courtroom who were subpoenaed to sign a clipboard detailing why they were called.
Approximately 40 people signed the list.
One of those people was Mamie Doyle, who owns and operates Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes on the Marietta Square.
When asked why she was asked to be there, Doyle said she wasn’t sure but that it may have had to do with her business giving a bailiff who worked during the Daker trial cupcakes.
She wasn’t the only one confused about her reason for being there.
Mike Treadaway and his son Jason Treadaway, who were both originally appointed to serve as Daker’s defense attorneys last fall but never did so because he chose to represent himself, weren’t sure why they were subpoenaed, either.
Not everyone subpoenaed was present Wednesday.
The Georgia Attorney General’s Office sent someone with a motion to quash, or suppress, its list of individuals asked to be there.
Lauren Kane, a spokesperson with the state office, said a number of people from the Georgia Department of Corrections were called to appear, including Commissioner Brian Owen, Chief Operating Officer Tim Ward, Rob Jones with legal services, Randy Tillman, director of Facilities and Operations at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison, Warden Carl Humphrey from the prison, corrections officer June Bishop, counselor Leslie Medlock and law librarian John Young.
Former Commissioner Greg Dozier with Georgia’s Department of Driver Services was subpoenaed, but the paperwork was served to current Commissioner Rob Mikell.
Krane said there were also some people with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation subpoenaed but she did not have the list of those people or have any idea how many there were in total.
Marietta attorney Tom Cauthorn, who has practiced law since 1972 and served as a Cobb Superior Court and State Court judge for 12 years up to 1991, said it’s “very unusual” that such a large number of people were subpoenaed for the hearing.
“He’s sent a subpoena to just about everyone he’s ever heard of,” Cauthorn said Wednesday afternoon. “If he has a legitimate argument about anything, it’s being lost in the background noise with all these subpoenas.
“You generally want to keep things clear and focused and that way the judge has their mind and attention draw to the real argument and not distracted by other matters.”
Cauthorn said the only reason Daker should be presenting any testimony or evidence for his request of a new trial should be if he was claiming that something has been discovered since he was sentenced, or if his defense attorney provided “ineffective counsel,” which isn’t the case here because he represented himself.