Rufaro Smith Trial Expected to go to Jury Today

October 2, 2013

The jury is expected to get the case today in the trial of a Toccoa man in connection to an alleged 2012 armed robbery.

The trial of Rufaro Christopher Smith of Toccoa began Tuesday morning in Stephens County Superior Court with Judge Chan Caudell presiding.

Smith faces charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault, and possession of a knife during a commission of a felony in connection with the alleged robbery of a local convenience store on September 4, 2012.

Authorities allege that around 2 a.m. on that day, Smith robbed Buddy’s Quick Stop at the corner of Big A Road and Currahee Street and assaulted the clerk on duty with a knife, injuring the clerk’s hand.

According to authorities, Smith was arrested after the store clerk flagged down a passing Toccoa Police officer, who chased Smith down.

During opening statements Tuesday morning, Mountain Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Rick Bridgeman told the jury the case was “not a who-dun-it,” adding that the evidence was overwhelming.

According to Bridgeman, that evidence includes Smith’s DNA on the handle of the knife and the victim’s DNA on the knife blade, from where the store clerk was cut during a struggle between he and Smith.

In addition, Bridgeman said store surveillance cameras captured the incident and authorities recovered the knife and air pistol allegedly carried by Smith during the incident.

Bridgeman said bloody money was also recovered.

Meanwhile, Defense Attorney John Land told the jury during opening statements to examine all of the evidence carefully.

Land told the jury that the while the evidence may be appear to be one thing, it may not be what it appears.

He said he believes that will be the case in this trial.

Land also told the jury that DNA evidence is not infallible and is not always fool-proof.

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