Murder suspect was urged to get professional help
by Kim Isaza
September 14, 2012 12:59 AM | 5480 views | 1 1 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Waseem Daker is acting as his own lawyer in the murder trial of Karmen Smith. Today, he will cross examine Loretta Spencer Blatz, who was Smith’s housemate. <br> Photo by Jon-Michael Sullivan
Waseem Daker is acting as his own lawyer in the murder trial of Karmen Smith. Today, he will cross examine Loretta Spencer Blatz, who was Smith’s housemate.
Photo by Jon-Michael Sullivan
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MARIETTA — An emotional Loretta Spencer Blatz testified for much of the day Wednesday about how she tried to persuade Waseem Daker to get psychological help, even after he twice put a gun to her head, and about another time when she came home and found him in her apartment wearing her lingerie.

In 1996, Daker was convicted of stalking Spencer Blatz and spent 10 years in prison. He is now on trial in the Oct. 23, 1995, murder of Spencer Blatz’s housemate, Karmen Smith, 30, and the stabbing of Smith’s young son at their residence in the Hunter’s Trace subdivision off Johnson Ferry Road.

Smith and her son lived in a basement apartment of a home at 1580 Old Hunter’s Trace, an apartment where Spencer Blatz had previously lived. At the time of Smith’s killing, Spencer Blatz and her daughter lived in the upstairs portion of the house.

Daker was charged in 2010 with Smith’s murder and the attack on Nickolas Smith. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Today is expected to be even more emotional as Daker, who is acting as his own attorney, cross-examines Spencer Blatz.

On Thursday, Spencer Blatz testified that early in 1995, she and her 10-year-old daughter were living in a Roswell apartment when Daker, whom she had met playing paintball, began calling her “50, 100 times a day” and banging on her door at all hours.

She said she repeatedly told him to stop, and later moved to the house in Cobb County to get away from him.

“He would get extremely irate and say I was the only one he had to talk to and would kill himself if I would not talk to him. I told him he needed to seek professional help,” she said. “It was endless phone calls. Nonstop. ... I told him I couldn’t stand it and he needed to stop. The more I told him no, the more he was really persistent in talking to me.”

Spencer Blatz testified that Daker, who is 12 years her junior, had told her he wanted to be a CIA assassin one day, but early on also talked about problems he was having with girlfriends and his parents. He was a teenager enrolled at Georgia Tech when they met.

“I felt like his bigger sister. He was reaching out and needing somebody. He told me he didn’t have anyone to talk to. I was trying to help him,” she said.

Jurors heard recordings Spencer Blatz made of several telephone calls with Daker in which she urged him to get help.

In one recording, the voice she identified as Daker’s says: “You don’t want me to commit suicide? Keep me out of jail.”

In the same call, Spencer Blatz is heard saying: “You need help. Your parents love you. You can tell them you are suicidal. You need to be committed, OK? I need it to stop.”

During testimony, she recalled that one day in May 1995, she came home early from work.

“I walked into my apartment and heard my clock radio on. In my bedroom was Waseem Daker ... He was naked and he had a garter belt and garter hose on and was looking at himself in my mirror.”

She said he ran out of her apartment after that, but the calls continued. In June 1995, she contacted Fulton police and he was arrested, but Spencer Blatz later dropped the charges.

“I wanted all of this to stop. ... He promised he was going to get help. He called me from the jail and was begging me. He promised it would stop and he was going to go back to Syria,” she said.

Prosecutor Jesse Evans asked if she had any regrets about that, to which Spencer Blatz doubled over crying on the stand.

“I have many regrets,” she said.
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NG.commer
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September 14, 2012
While I'm sure Waseem Daker thinks he's the best person to defend himself in court, but I can't help but think of the the classic adage: "Whosoever is his own counsel has a fool for his client."

In the current environment, if he loses I'm not so sure he'll be able to back out of his decision on appeal ("I provided ineffective counsel"), especially after the judge put him in the position to make it clear that he acknowledged he's taking major risks by representing himself. Daker's allowed that right under Faretta v. California (1975), and so far (from what little's information seen in the news reporting) it isn't clear whether he would be mentally ill enough to fall under Indiana v. Edwards (2008).

Please keep up these updates!
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