Family Wants Cop Killer To Stay In Prison


Tuesday, June 24th 2008, 5:36 pm

By: News On 6


The family of a Green Country police chief asks the parole board to keep the convicted killer behind bars.  David Smith is coming up for parole for the fifth time, since the 1978 murder of Catoosa Police Chief J.B. Hamby.  The News On 6's crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports J.B.'s brother says every time he drives to Oklahoma City to pour his heart out to the board, it just brings all those horrible feelings to the surface again.

David Smith and Jackie Young robbed a tag agency in Catoosa when Chief Hamby tried to stop it.  A gun battle ensued and Young was killed, after accidentally shooting himself in the head.  Smith was shot, but got away.  Chief Hamby was shot and killed.

Smith was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life.  A few years later, he walked away from prison and was on the run for eight years before being recaptured.

Hamby's family does not want him released.

"I hope they realized David Gordon Smith has just served 21 years and a life sentence can be 45 and that's what he needs to serve," said David Hamby, brother of J.B. Hamby.

"This is a good man who made a tragic mistake in his life 30 years ago. He has served his time and deserves to be released," said Smith's attorney, Doug Parr.

Smith's lawyer says Smith didn't fire the fatal bullet.  He says that Jackie Young did.  He says Smith has been a model prisoner.

Anyone with an opinion about Smith's release can email the governor's chief of staff at gerald.adams@gov.ok.gov.

The parole board will make its decision next week.

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