But in 2011, Maryland’s highest court threw out the conviction, saying that crucial information had been wrongly withheld from jurors. Smith’s retrial began Aug. 30.
Trial Day 7
September 10, 2012
1:07 p.m.: Deputy State’s Attorney John Maloney played a tape of Michael McQueen’s father, also named Michael, testifying at the original 2008 trial. The elder Michael McQueen has since passed away. The tape indicated that a defense lawyer questioned McQueen about what he knew about his son being detained for driving under the influence. There was sparring on the recording over whether there were detentions, plural, and what he knew about any detention. Objections followed and the testimony was not allowed in at the time.
Defense lawyer David Martella argued to Judge Eric M. Johnson that Michael McQueen’s responses should be allowed at this trial because his answers demonstrated an “absence of knowledge about important events of his son’s life.”
Johnson pushed back, declaring “it’s a real stretch…that somebody’s going to kill himself because of a DUI.”
Johnson asked what the implication was, that the elder Michael McQueen “didn’t know his son?” He said he would have allowed the testimony if the question had been phrased, “Did you know your son had a DUI?” Instead, though, the question “was, ‘Did he tell you?”’ And that was unacceptable, Johnson said.
1:19 p.m.: Montgomery police forensic specialist Grant Lee testified that he took pictures inside Gary Smith’s blue 2001 Honda Civic, and searched the car and trunk for evidence. There was no obvious blood. A clothes basket was among the items removed.
1:38 p.m.: Kimberly Clements, also a forensic specialist with the Montgomery police, described the affect of a chemical that she sprayed on the tan carpet that was in the Gaithersburg apartment shared by McQueen and Gary Smith in 2006.
Clements says she looks for an “immediate color change” when she sprays the chemical, showing where trace amounts of blood are located. But as days — and now years — have passed, the chemical leaves a broad area of purple staining that “would not be considered a blood reaction,” she said.
Prosecutor Robert Hill told Judge Johnson that he wanted to recreate the crime scene in the well of the court.
He and Maloney put on latex gloves and spread out a plastic tarp. The jurors, alert, moved forward on their chairs. Clements used a knife to cut open the sheet of heavy brown paper covering a roll of carpet. The prosecutors unfurled the carpet, which had been cut out of the Gaithersburg apartment shared by McQueen and Smith. There were deep brownish blood stains and light-colored specks, from McQueen’s head wound, and bright purple patches from the enhancement chemical.