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Special prosecutor appointed in former EPD officer's case

by Matthew Hutcheson | July 24, 2021 at 12:00 a.m.
News-Times file

A special prosecutor has been appointed in the case of former El Dorado Police Department officer Aaron Smith.

According to previous reporting, Smith was arrested on April 19 and charged with tampering with physical evidence, abuse of public trust and theft of property, all felony offenses.

On June 8, 13th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Rogers submitted a motion for the appointment of a special prosecutor in the case.

The motion states in part that "the Prosecuting Attorney, as well as the staff thereof in the 13th Judicial District, declares that the appearance of an unavoidable, irreparable conflict in this case has arisen."

A response from Judge Robin Carroll was entered into court records also on June 8, stating in part that the court "designates that the Office of the Prosecutor Coordinator shall independently select a duly licensed and qualified attorney" to act as the special prosecutor.

The Office of the Prosecutor Coordinator is a state agency that "provides a broad range of technical assistance and support services for prosecuting attorneys, their deputies, and crime victim service providers," according to information available on Arkansas.gov.

A response from Prosecutor Coordinator Bob McMahan was sent to Carroll on June 15, according to court records.

In the letter, McMahan writes that Jack McQuary, deputy prosecuting attorney for the Prosecution Coordination Commission, has agreed to serve as the prosecuting attorney for the case.

The National District Attorneys Association National Prosecution Standards, which is referenced in Rogers' original motion for a special prosecutor, lists several specific conflicts that might require special prosecutors. The conflicts include "any investigation, prosecution, or other matter where personal interests of the prosecutor would cause a fair-minded, objective observer to conclude that the prosecutor's neutrality, judgment, or ability to administer the law in an objective manner may be compromised."

Aaron Smith
Aaron Smith

Print Headline: Special prosecutor appointed in former EPD officer's case

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