Rape trial stalled after suspect doesn’t show up for court

Published 9:06 pm Friday, May 19, 2017

A rape trial for a 37-year-old Selma man stalled this week after he failed to show up to court.

According to Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson, Arthur Lee Smith failed to show up for trial after a jury was struck Wednesday. Smith was out on bond.

“He didn’t show up, and then we struck the jury without him,” Jackson said. “The judge gave him until 1 p.m. to get there, and then he still didn’t show, so that’s when he issued the bench warrant.”

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Jackson said Circuit Judge Collins Pettaway issued a bench warrant for Smith’s arrest for failing to show up.

“We want him arrested as quick as possible, so he can sit out in jail,” Jackson said. “We don’t want him just walking around enjoying himself. We want the warrant served on him very quick.”

According to Jackson, Smith was facing trial for first and second-degree rape of a 13-year-old girl. Jackson said the sexual abuse was ongoing for several months before authorities were alerted.

Court records show officers were alerted by the victim’s mother, who took her daughter to Vaughan Regional Medical Center to be checked out.

According to the report, the abuse was between December 2011 and January 2012 at George Washington Carver Homes.

Jackson said the victim and her mother now live out of town, so they had to come to Selma specifically for the trial.

“It’s very frustrating for us plus the victim, especially the victim and her mother,” Jackson said. “They came from out of town for this trial because this a very important trial for the victim to get some closure on this. For them to come from out of town and then this thing get put off.”

If smith is arrested, Jackson said another jury will have to be struck.

“The whole process again,” Jackson said.

According to court records, Smith is represented by attorney Brandon Wooten.

A phone call to Wooten’s office Friday afternoon was not immediately returned.