Retired FBI Agent: ‘Kalvin Michael Smith deserves new trial’

The latest chapter in the ongoing saga surrounding the brutal 1995 beating of Silk Plant Forest store clerk Jill Marker has culminated with a respected retired FBI assistant director calling for a new trial for Kalvin Michael Smith, the man convicted of the crime almost 15 years ago.

Former FBI Assistant Director Christopher Swecker said in his legal review for the Silk Plant Forest Truth Committee that the original investigation by Detective Don Williams “was seriously flawed and woefully incomplete, thus calling into question whether the original trial jury rendered their verdict based on all the relevant and accurate facts of the case.” He said he fully agreed with the findings of the Silk Plant Forest Citizen’s Review Committee, which stated in 2009 that “there is no credible evidence that Kalvin Michael Smith was at the scene” of the crime on the night of the attack, and that they had “no confidence in the investigation.”

Smith is currently incarcerated at Caswell Correctional Center near Yanceyville, and has a habeas corpus appeal filed in US District Court on the grounds that the prosecution failed to disclose favorable evidence, the conviction was tainted by false evidence, Marker’s trial testimony was inappropriate and the defense counsel was ineffective. Standing with members of the Silk Plant Forest Truth Committee at a press conference in front of City Hall after the release of the report, Bishop Todd Fulton of Mount Moriah Outreach Center called on NC Attorney General Roy Cooper to file a motion to overturn Smith’s conviction.

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