Alabama woman Brittany Smith who fatally shot her rapist loses 'stand your ground' hearing, will face murder trial
Judge Jenifer Holt of state Circuit Court in Jackson County outlined in a 19-page order issued in January how there were several inconsistencies in Brittany Smith's account.
A judge has dismissed a motion filed by an Alabama woman who said she shot and killed a man after he beat and raped her, citing inconsistencies in her version of what happened. 32-year-old Brittany Smith is charged with murder in the January 2018 death of Todd Smith, with whom she had reconnected shortly before he was killed, NBC reports.
Following a confrontation that involved Brittany, her brother Chris, and Todd, she allegedly shot him three times in the kitchen of her Stevenson, Tennessee residence. The accused has claimed she shot Todd Smith fearing he was going to kill both her and her brother.
But Judge Jenifer Holt of state Circuit Court in Jackson County outlined in a 19-page order issued in January how there were several inconsistencies in Brittany's account. The presiding judge noted in her order that Brittany told a 911 operator that Todd Smith hadn't raped her and that Chris was the one who had shot him.
According to court documents, Brittany only confessed to killing Todd Smith a day after the shooting.
Brittany, per the document, also told a detective on the case that she heard multiple gunshots while her brother and Todd were fighting, before hearing the latter hit the floor. Furthermore, the judge noted that Chris did not have any signs of being injured in a physical altercation.
Brittany told another investigator on the case that she shot Todd while he was on the ground and that she had instructed her brother to wipe the gun after the shooting. On top of the aforementioned inconsistencies, a forensic evaluation found that Brittany Smith was physically assaulted. However, the evaluation could not determine if she was raped.
According to a nurse who examined Brittany following the alleged assault, she could not determine if a rape had occurred, but testified that she did have bruises, bite marks and signs of strangulation consistent with physical assault. However, she also testified that most sexual assault cases lack physical proof such as trauma or DNA evidence.
Meanwhile, Judge Holt stated in her order that "the court finds that the defendant has given inconsistent accounts of the events surrounding Todd's death" and "has attempted to alter or destroy evidence."
"The defendant did not credibly demonstrate that she reasonably believed it was necessary for her to use deadly force in this situation," the order continued. "The court finds that the defendant has failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that she was justified in using deadly physical force."
Several users on social media thought the murder charge against Brittany was unwarranted.
"What kind of backward ass legal system is that??" one wrote.
"Unreal to charge this woman after she had been raped with PROOF!! These so called police should be ashamed," another added.
However, some others thought the charge was aptly justified.
"Drugs, sex, murder. She ain't no Saint. Just being a woman doesn't make you a victim or honest. Try her and find out if those injuries were from her dealer or one of her John's," one wrote of Brittany, while another commented, "Her story has more holes than words."
Ron Smith, the lawyer representing Brittany, has said he plans to appeal the order. That said, her trial is scheduled to commence on February 10.