Murder conviction upheld

The murder conviction of former Cutler resident Gerald Smith has been upheld by a district court of appeals, the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office was notified Tuesday.

Smith was sentenced in January 2012 for the June 2010 murder of his then-father-in-law Homer Rogers, 66. Rogers was stabbed in the neck while sleeping at his home.

Smith was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, along with 30 months each on third-degree felony charges of grand theft of a firearm and grand theft from an elderly person, to be served in addition to the life sentence. He was sentenced to another 30 months on a third-degree felony charge of tampering with evidence, with that sentence to be served concurrently with the others.

During the appeal process, Smith and his defense counsel had argued that Gerald Smith’s trial attorney, Washington County Public Defender Ray Smith, no relation, was ineffective because he had not challenged the evidence enough and that there wasn’t enough evidence for a conviction on the tampering with evidence charge, said Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Rings, who prosecuted the case.

Smith still has the option to take his appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court but to do so requires a constitutional issue.

“They haven’t raised such an issue,” said Rings.