In a decision overruling the defense’s attempt, Judge Gregory Singer says the defense argued that a detective was not a “blind administrator” because he administered the same photo spread to three different witnesses and that law enforcement lacked probable cause to obtain a search warrant for a Trotwood home that was searched in connection to the case.
Ohio law requires law enforcement to use an official who does not know the identity of the suspect when conducting photo or live lineups, Singer said in his decision. The judge said the detective could conduct multiple lineups and still follow the law.
“…Ohio courts have made clear that a witness' selection from a line-up does not automatically confer knowledge of who the suspect is such that the administrator is no longer “blind” within the meaning (of the law),” the judge wrote. “Additionally, in the first line-up, the defendant was identified as being present at the scene, but specifically as not the shooter.”
Also, the judge said law enforcement did have probable cause to obtain a search warrant for the Trotwood home.
“In the instant case, an FBI agent notified detectives that an informant disclosed that defendant was the possible shooter,” the judge wrote. “Upon learning this information, detectives created a photographic line-up, and the defendant was positively identified as the shooter by a witness. Therefore, the court concludes there was substantial basis for concluding that probable cause existed."
Smith is incarcerated at the Montgomery County Jail on $1 million bond.