But the state may have issues with the credibility of that former detective, Mark Lance. In 2002, Lance pleaded guilty to an unrelated federal charge of extortion and admitted taking thousands of dollars from the management of an adult nightclub in Sandy Springs.
On cross-examination, Daker, who is representing himself, asked Lance if he is a convicted felon.
“Yes I am,” Lance said.
Other law-enforcement officers who dealt with stalking victim Spencer Blatz in 1995 testified that she had not reported instances in which she claims Daker threatened to kill her and her daughter, ran her car off the road, or had been found in her apartment.
Still, Fulton Police Capt. Brian Casal testified that when he responded to Spencer Blatz’s office on Sept. 1, 1995, after Daker had called her and shown up there despite a court’s order that he have no contact with her, “she reported that he made threatening statements to her over the phone” and that the threats were against her and her daughter.
Daker was charged two years ago in the 1995 strangulation death of Karmen Smith, 30, in her basement apartment of a home in the Hunter’s Trace subdivision, which is off of Johnson
Ferry Road just west of Roswell Road. Smith was a flight attendant with Delta Air Lines.
Daker is also charged with aggravated battery on Smith’s son, Nickolas, who was stabbed 16 times on Oct. 23, 1995. Nickolas Smith was 5 years old and in kindergarten at Timber Ridge Elementary at the time, but he survived his injuries and is expected to testify later this week.
About a year after the murder, Daker was convicted of stalking Spencer Blatz – who lived upstairs from Karmen Smith — and spent 10 years in prison on those charges before he was released in 2006.
Daker is now charged with malice murder, four counts of felony murder, burglary, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and other charges. He could face life in prison if convicted of murder.
According to Daker’s indictment, he was not “positively identified as having committed the crimes until DNA results were obtained in December of 2009.”
See the Good Morning America feature on the trial: