Daker jurors see bondage photos, ‘how to kill’ books
by Kim Isaza
September 25, 2012 12:19 AM | 6493 views | 5 5 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Jurors in the Waseem Daker murder trial saw several disturbing photographs depicting women in various states of bondage and undress and looked at pages from books about how to kill people, all of which was found in Daker’s possession or on his computer after his arrest in 2010.

Most of the photographs appeared to be posed, and one was of a woman with colored red hair, which prosecutor Jesse Evans made sure to point out with Cobb homicide detective John Dawes on the stand Monday afternoon.

It was Dawes who in 2009 reopened the cold-case killing of Karmen Smith and the nonfatal stabbing of her young son, Nick Smith, that occurred on Oct. 23, 1995, at the Smith’s residence in east Cobb. Karmen Smith was a redhead.

After Dawes left the witness stand, Daker, who is representing himself, asked for a mistrial on the grounds that statements Dawes made indicating Daker was in fact Karmen Smith’s killer were prejudicial. It’s an issue that Daker brought up last week, when Superior Court Judge Mary E. Staley told prosecutors to tell their witnesses to refrain from such comments.

Evans, though, argued the situation was manufactured by Daker through his insistence on representing himself.

“He’s been talking in third person for much of the trial,” Evans said, adding that the responses have all come during Daker’s cross-examination of the state’s witnesses.

Staley refused to grant a mistrial and again ordered prosecutors to warn their witnesses against making such comments.

Daker actually called his first witness Monday afternoon, though the state has not yet rested its case. One prosecution witness is flying in with medical personnel and will likely take the stand this afternoon. The state also expects to finish its side today.

Detective Dawes explained that in April 2009, he reviewed the cold case and what evidence was still available. Police had earlier sent evidence to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which operates a laboratory certified in mitochondrial DNA tests.

Dawes said that after he learned there were a number of hairs in the evidence there that might have enough tissue to allow the more-precise nuclear DNA testing, he flew in November 2009 to Phoenix, took custody of the evidence and then flew with it to Dallas, where he submitted the evidence for the more-precise nuclear DNA testing at the Orchid Cellmark lab.

He got a report back on Dec. 31, 2009, and after speaking with the District Attorney’s Office, took out a warrant for Daker’s arrest on Jan. 11, 2010. He then used an undercover police unit to track Daker for four days before he was arrested.

Among items in Daker’s vehicle at the time of his arrest were handcuffs, leg irons, a section of rope and a laptop.

Dawes also said electronic equipment was seized from Daker’s home, though Daker again argued without success to Judge Staley that the evidence should not be allowed because he contended investigators went beyond the scope of the search warrants for his vehicle and residence.

“Hitman: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors,” and “Kill Without Joy: The Complete How-to-Kill Book” as well as “Secrets of Locksmithing” were among the books or e-books found in Daker’s possession in 2010 that jurors heard about on Monday.

The “Joy” book includes sections on ligature strangulation and diagrams of stabbing humans. Another book contained a section on getting an unwilling person to talk, and Dawes told jurors that section suggests using an ice pick as a torture device and advises making small incisions on the person’s back to make them talk.

Karmen Smith was found with two small stabs in her back, and an ice pick was found at the crime scene.

True to their word in a pre-trial hearing, prosecutors did not tell jurors about other items found in Daker’s possession at the time of his arrest, including leather whips, thumb cuffs, padlocks, harnesses, paddles, a card from a group known as Spankers of the Southeast, and an al-Queda training manual.

It was at that hearing, exactly one month ago, in which Staley allowed the photos and other evidence to be admitted after prosecutors argued that Daker “obsesses about” and participates in sexual bondage activities.

On Monday, though, Dawes confirmed on cross-examination that there was no evidence that Daker had the books before Smith’s 1995 killing.

Daker also took issue with why police didn’t submit every piece of evidence to DNA testing. Dawes said that is customary, and that once they had nuclear DNA evidence linking Daker to the crime scene, there was no need for further, expensive tests.

“Isn’t it true you were scared the evidence would find the defendant was innocent?” Daker asked Dawes, drawing scoffs from prosecutors.

“We had already identified the defendant through nuclear DNA,” Dawes said.

Daker then asked: “Which is more expensive, doing a DNA test or sending an innocent man to prison?” drawing prosecutors’ objection and a stern rebuke from Judge Staley.

Late in the day, Daker called his first witness, David Allan Boyd of Norcross. Daker and Boyd met while playing paintball back in the 1990s. Boyd, who also testified during Daker’s 1996 stalking trial, said he believed that Daker was in a relationship with Loretta Spencer Blatz in 1995. Boyd also testified that he had never known Daker to be violent.

In 1996, Daker was convicted of stalking Spencer Blatz and spent a decade in prison. Spencer Blatz also lived upstairs from Karmen Smith at the time of Smith’s killing.

But Evans got Boyd to acknowledge that he had no first-hand evidence that Daker and Spencer Blatz were in a relationship.

Boyd also admitted: “There’s lot of things I don’t know about a lot of people.”

Daker could face life in prison if convicted of Karmen Smith’s murder. He’s also charged with the stabbing of Nick Smith and stalking of Spencer Blatz.
Comments
(5)
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DavidG_Canada
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September 26, 2012
Thank you for the in-depth updates
Terrance Bogard
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September 25, 2012
Thank you for the update, this is a good article.
Tonk
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September 25, 2012
Interesting story, really sad. Has there been mention as to what color eyes the boys father/ex had?
M. Charles
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September 25, 2012
Thanks for the update, Kim.
Thanks_mdj
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September 25, 2012
Lots of details this time around, it's much appreciated. Most of the other articles online are abysmal.
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