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 4
Sept. 5, 2012
Court staff drank coffee and orange juice from behind the bench. A cardboard box that had been sealed with yellow evidence tape rested on a ledge next to them, the .38 revolver used to shoot Michael McQueen was inside. McQueen’s mother, Glenda, walked out of the courtroom. Former Ranger Gary Smith, accused of killing McQueen in 2006, held the door for her.
Iain Sutherland, a former Ranger who worked in intelligence, testified that he met Smith in Afghanistan in 2004.
Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Hill asked if Smith had flown unmanned aerial vehicles in Afghanistan, whether Smith had taken direct fire, whether Smith had shot a 12-year-old wearing a grenade vest, or whether Smith’s body armor was damaged by gunfire.
Not to his knowledge, Sutherland said.
He and Smith became friends, Sutherland said. He also was friendly with McQueen, who Sutherland said was “kind of a goofball a lot of the time.”
Sutherland described an incident during a cookout at Smith’s place. Smith was sitting to his right as they watched TV. He had a pistol.
“He was showing it off to us, kind of fondling it and loading it, putting the bullets in the clip,” Sutherland said. “I didn’t think he was being real safe with it. He had it kinda pointed toward my leg.”
Sutherland said he gestured in a way that meant, “What are you doing, man?” and Smith responded in a way that indicated “he’s got a handle on it. It’s no big deal.”
In answering queries from Smith’s lawyer, Barry Helfand, Sutherland said he didn’t know if the clip was in the gun when it was pointed at his leg.
Sutherland also said he didn’t know if Smith shot a 12-year-old, but said, but “I think that would have been pretty big news.”
Regarding the cookout gun incident, Sutherland said: “I know he likes guns, and that other people did, too. He wanted to show his gun to his friends.”
Helfand asked if McQueen ever goofed around with guns.
Sutherland said he never saw anybody “mess around” with military guns in any unprofessional way.
Sgt. Major Edward Baptiste, an intelligence analyst, appeared before jurors in full uniform. Prosecutors called him because he was one of Smith’s supervisors in the Rangers, including in Iraq.
Hill asked if Smith was shot at, or if he shot at others.
“I would know everything,” Baptiste said, and he didn’t know anything about that.