Jul 29, 2014
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Alleged COD Stabber 'Not a Thug,' Attorney Says

Jamie Smith is accused in the Sept. 1 stabbing of a former teammate at a Palm Desert apartment complex.

Alleged COD Stabber 'Not a Thug,' Attorney Says Alleged COD Stabber 'Not a Thug,' Attorney Says

There’s more to the story in the case of a football player accused in the stabbing of a former teammate in Palm Desert, the man’s attorney said Monday.

Jamie Smith – a 19-year-old transfer student from North Carolina A&T -- faces attempted murder and other charges in the at an apartment complex in the 77700 block of Country Club Drive.

“We feel compelled to reach out and encourage people to suspend judgment. There are two sides to the story,’’ said Mark McBride, a Beverly Hills attorney who is representing Smith along with Justin Sanders, an attorney who is also based in the Los Angeles area. 

Sanders said they were hired last week by Smith’s parents to “go all the way.”

“We’re pulling out all the stops to win this case,” he said.

McBride said more details about the night that led to Smith’s arrest and the end of his football career at COD would emerge throughout the course of the trial.

“He comes from a good family. He’s not a thug,” McBride told Patch.

McBride said he believes that Smith will be found not guilty of attempted murder.

“This is not a life case. This isn’t one,’’ he said.

But prosecutors allege that Smith is charged appropriately based on witness statements.

“We have more than one witness that said the victim tried to get away from the fight,’’ said John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

During a fight, the 19-year-old victim slipped at some point, Hall said.

“The defendant continued after the victim and stabbed him multiple times on the upper body while the victim was on the ground,’’ he said.

The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment, according to sheriff’s investigators.

The fight apparently stemmed from a dispute between the classmates, sheriff’s officials said.

Coach Dean Dowty has said Smith, who is being held in lieu of $1 million at the Indio Jail, would be expelled from the team.

Smith is due back in court on Oct. 21 for a felony settlement conference at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.

LATEST UPDATE: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20

In response to the article, McBride called the District Attorney's Office comments on the case "a disgrace to any notion of a fair criminal process."

He asked the public to "not prejudge our client's case."

Don’t miss updates from Patch!