Raney Back In Court For Sara Smart Case

Monday, March 23rd 2009, 9:14 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

MUSKOGEE, OK -- A Muskogee man accused of killing his stepdaughter returned to court on Monday.  Jerry Raney is charged with first-degree murder in the 2006 death of teenager Sara Smart.

02/04/2009  Related Story: Muskogee Man's Court Hearing Continues

Testimony continued on Monday in his preliminary hearing.  Sara Smart's mother spent the entire day on the stand and said she remains convinced that Jerry Raney is responsible for her daughter's death.

A Muskogee County judge is still in the process of determining whether or not there is enough evidence to try Raney for murder.  Raney was reportedly the last person to see Smart alive in 2006.  She disappeared in January of that year.

In August, her body was found stuffed in a barrel floating in a pond near Haskell. 

On Monday, her mother, Laura Morris, told the court that before Smart's body was discovered, she did not believe Raney was responsible.  But, she says she quickly changed her mind after her daughter was found.  Smart's step-mother also remains convinced that Raney is guilty.

"I will never waver on that. I know in my heart.  In my soul, always have known," said Sara's stepmother, Christene Smart-Leader.

Laura Morris will resume her testimony on Tuesday.

The defense says the prosecution has yet to provide any evidence that actually links Raney to the crime.