Murder trial for Smith delayed

Chip Smith

Chip Smith

KINGMAN - A new date has been set in the third trial of a Golden Valley man.

Chip M. Smith, 37, of Golden Valley is charged with the August 2001 second-degree murder of Chris Payton, 30, of Golden Valley.

Judge Robert Moon pushed Smith's trial date from Nov. 5 to the week of Nov. 24 due to a death penalty case slated to start on Nov. 5.

Smith's attorney, Vincent Iannone, argued against postponing the trial to a later date. There were a couple of out-of-state witnesses he wanted to call, and pushing the trial to a later date would make travel arrangements more difficult, he said.

Moon said he had several murder cases that he was trying to finish before the end of his term.

The death penalty case takes precedence because of its severity. Smith's case is next in line.

Moon also set a jury management hearing for Oct. 30.

Smith's first trial ended March 21, 2003, after the 10-woman, two-man jury declared itself deadlocked after deliberating for two days. The judge declared a mistrial.

A second jury convicted him of the charges and he was sentenced to 22 years in prison in October 2003. Smith appealed the conviction, arguing that Judge Richard Weiss mishandled the dismissal of a juror.

The Arizona Court of Appeals found fault with the handling of the juror. It set aside Smith's conviction and the case was returned to Mohave County Superior Court.