08/03/17 18 Witnesses Called In Cleveland County Murder Trial


18 witnesses were called to testify on Tuesday in Circuit Court in Rison as the capital murder trial of 21 year old Brad Hunter Smith of Randall got underway. Smith is charged in the death of Cherris Faith Allbright.

In the first day of the trial 13th Judicial District Prosecutor David Butler used phone records and testimony from friends and co-workers to lay out a case against Smith. Smith's attorney, Greg Robinson of Pine Bluff, told the jury during his opening statement that despite the amount of evidence the state had against his client, Smith has maintained his innocence and will show there's another reasonable explanation behind that evidence.

Allbright, who was pregnant at the time of her death, was found the night of December 10, 2015, buried about a mile off Rodger Road West, within a short distance of her grandmother's house as well as Smith's residence on land leased to a hunting club used by Smith and family members. Investigators testified in court Tuesday that Allbright had been shot in the back with an arrow from a crossbow and that she'd been hit in the head twice.

Smith is charged with capital murder, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse in connection with Allbright's death.

The 239th traffic fatality of the year was recorded in Sebastian County on U.S

Highway 71 at Brooken Hill Drive in Ft. Smith.

According to a preliminary state police report..63 year old Janet Kessler died of

injuries suffered in a crash involving three vehicles. Kessler's 2014 Chevrolet

Cruze..eastbound on Brooken Hill Drive was hit broadside by a southbound

2006 Toyta Tacoma..the light changed and the driver of the Tacoma attempted

to stop..but not in time and struck Kessler's vechile on the drivers side..Kessler's

car then spun into a light pole and then collided with a a north bound 2015

Hyundai Sonota..who was stopped in the northbound turning lane of U.S. 71.

The drivers of the other vehicles not available in the report.

The injured were taken to a Ft. Smith hospital..where Kessler died of her

injuries. Weather conditions were clear..the roadway dry at the time of the

crash at 11:14 Thursday morning. Ft. Smith PD investigated.