Opening statements and testimony in the murder trial of Todd Smith for the murder of his wife Katrina Smith painted two very different pictures of the murder and investigation.
For prosecutors, Smith is the obvious suspect, a man estranged from his wife who beat her to death with a baseball bat, which was later found in his garage.
Prosecutor Marilyn Hite-Ross told jurors, “Til’ death do us part. A vow spoken in most weddings. A vow Katrina Smith when she married the defendant. And that vow would prove to be a deadly vow for Katrina Smith. Til’ death do us part, and so it was, she died at the hands of her husband.”
Testimony given Wednesday included friends saying that Todd was dismissive when friends asked why they hadn’t seen Katrina, saying she left all the time. One witness also testified that he was not enthusiastic in the search for his wife after it became clear she disappeared, inferring that was because he already knew she was dead. Smith’s body was later found dumped in the Rock River.
But for the defense, the case is an example of a rush to judgment against a man who became the primary suspect to the exclusion of all others simply because he was the victim’s husband.
“This is a case about something called confirmation bias … You will see multiple examples of just how the police were biased against Todd, and had already made up their minds,” Defense Attorney Margie O’Connor told the jury, who called the case one that was built on rumor and speculation.
O’Connor implying that she will introduce evidence that there were others who had a motive to murder Katrina Smith, including a man who allegedly was having an extramarital affair with her and is scheduled to take the stand on Thursday.
The trial is expected to take as long as two weeks.