Convicted Cop Killer Up For Parole, Again

Wednesday, June 18th 2008, 7:28 pm

By: News On 6

A convicted cop killer is coming up for parole. David Smith was sent to prison in 1979 for murdering Catoosa Police Chief J.B. Hamby. News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports Smith is up for parole for the fifth time next week and Hamby's family is dead set against it.

J.B. Hamby was quite a legend; he was loved by citizens and respected by the criminals he collared, until he was killed in the line of duty. It seems the suspect's life in prison has not exactly been hard time.

September 1st, 1978, Jackie Young and David Smith went into the Catoosa tag agency to rob it. Although Smith would later claim he was forced into the crime, it didn't appear that way to the women employees at the time.

"Pulled his bandana up, she testified, pulls his pistol out, comes in the door, sees her on the phone, jerks it out of the wall, gives instructions on tying them up and all of that, to her, he was in charge," said David Hamby, victim's brother.

Chief J.B. Hamby shows up and a gun battle begins. Young accidentally shoots himself in the head when he jumps over the counter. Smith gets shot, through the back of his hand into his groin, but still gets away. Chief Hamby, a husband and father of two boys, got shot in the chest.

"There were three guns involved. Brother had a .357 magnum; Jackie Ray had a .357 magnum. He's the only one who had a .22 magnum," said David Hamby.

Smith was arrested at the hospital and was later convicted of first degree murder and given a life sentence. While behind bars, he got married, bought a home and was allowed out to participate in the Tulsa Run.

Smith came up for parole in 1984, was denied and promptly walked away from prison and was gone for eight years. He was recaptured in South Dakota, with a gun in his car and three in his apartment. He was given four years for escape, yet, came up for parole again in 2001, 2004, 2006 and is up again.

Hamby's family just can't figure it.

"He was totally dedicated. Law was his life and he gave his life for it. I just think it's wrong to even give him consideration for early parole. He done the crime, he needs to do the time,' said David Hamby.

Smith comes up for parole next Tuesday. The parole board only allows two people to argue against it and they only have five minutes to make their case.

David Hamby plans to be there, along with the Rogers County DA.

Smith is supposed to come up every three years, but this time it was 14 months early.


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