Decision goes to jury in third Billy D. Smith trial

Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2003

Assistant district attorney John Wolfe countered the closing arguments in the trial of accused murderer Billy D. Smith, calling the defense a "squid defense."

"When a squid is threatened, it pumps out a lot of ink and hides in it," said Wolfe.

"That's what the defense has done. They put out a lot of smoke," he said.

The court case in Anchorage was handed to the jury for deliberation Friday.

Smith is on trial for the March 27, 1994, murders of Harold Enzler, 39, of Nikiski, and Nancy Bellamy, 42, of Homer.

Wolfe and defense attorney Robert Herz presented closing arguments to the jury of eight men and six women Thursday and Wolfe presented his rebuttal to the defense argument Friday.

Superior Court Judge Jonathan Link, who is presiding, told the jury they would hear the rebuttal, then receive formal jury instructions from the court and begin deliberating a verdict Friday.

The jurors earlier agreed to continue deliberations Saturday and today if necessary.

The state case against Smith is based on his confession to shooting Enzler and Bellamy on an isolated road in Nikiski, cutting up their bodies, dumping them in Cook Inlet and dismantling the truck in which they were shot and hiding the truck parts in various locations on the Kenai Peninsula.

In one of two previous trials that ended in mistrials, Smith was found guilty of three counts of tampering with physical evidence, namely the bodies and the truck.

The defense contends Smith's confession is a false confession, saying Smith admitted to the crimes only to get out of jail where he was being held on an unrelated drug charge. Herz said Smith believed he would be released if he cooperated with authorities, and that Smith needed to get out to get a much-needed heroin fix.

Herz told jurors during his closing arguments that the case is about who the real shooter is and a false confession.

Herz said Mimi Enzler, ex-wife of Harold Enzler and girlfriend of the accused, had motive. He said Dennis "Ray J" Johnson and Bruce Brown, convicted accomplices in the evidence tampering crimes, had motives. He said both got deals from the state in exchange for testifying against Smith.

"The defense is more like a collage than a puzzle," said Wolfe, in his rebuttal.

"If you look at what Mr. Smith says (in his confession) about the events that took place, it fits like a puzzle," said Wolfe.

"Mr. Smith confessed for two reasons. He killed someone he knew, and he could not prevent that from eating away at his conscience. And he came to believe that the police already knew what happened."

Wolfe also told the jurors the sterility of the courtroom "removes the horror of this crime."

"Two people with potential -- though flawed -- had their lives cut short," he said. "The only just verdict in this case is guilty."

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