Attorney moves to dismiss charges in Tammy Tracey’s murder

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The case is just too old! That is the argument from Jesse Smith’s lawyer.

Smith is accused of killing 19-year-old Tammy Tracey in 1987, more than 30 years ago. Christopher DeRango, a Senior Member of DeRango and Cain, is seeking for those charges to be dropped.

DeRango said that many witnesses and suspects have died since the murder took place, and that his client is innocent.

“He’s an elderly man, 67 years old, and he’s now been in jail for a year for something I firmly believe he absolutely didn’t do,” DeRango said. “Our motion to dismiss the indictment, and the reason we’re asking to do that, is because after 34 years, after most of these things, evidence, has been lost, which would be of substantial benefit to our defense of, Jesse.”

DeRango said that there are many reasons to support this idea.

“To get evidence into a courtroom, you have to bring in a human being that can say, ‘I know these things were said, either I said them or I was there when they were said under certain circumstances,’ but we can’t do that because all the people that were present when those things were said are dead,” DeRango said. “Because the state has waited 34 years to charge this case, it’s gone, it’s gone forever, people are dead, memories are lost.”

The state’s star witness is Smith’s ex-wife, according to DeRango. He said that on 14 different occasions she said she did not know any information, but on one occasion a doctor gave her sodium amytal, and her story changed entirely.

“There’s no physical evidence that ties Jesse to this crime,” DeRango said. “Nothing, not a thing.”

DeRango hopes that he can bring in an expert who can discuss the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of sodium amytal, know as a truth syrum.

When Winnebago County State’s Attorney J Hanley was reached out to, he had this to comment;

“With respect to the prosecution of Jesse Smith, we believe the prosecution is pending and thus, beyond what we have stated in court, we have no additional comment on the case. There is no statute of limitation on First-Degree Murder.”

“If the judge is not going to grant our motion to dismiss, than we are going to file the appropriate motions related to things we don’t believe should be admitted as credible evidence, and we’re going to get this thing moving to trial,” DeRango said.

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