Lawyer: Upper Arlington homicide suspect a case of “mistaken identity”

Jeffrey L. Smith appears in court (WBNS-10TV)
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UPPER ARLINGTON – Jeffery Smith, the man suspected of a stabbing and killing Charles Edward Hale McCoy on West Lane Avenue Monday afternoon, was given a 1.5 million bond Wednesday morning, but his lawyer said he believes it won’t be long until Smith is a free man.

“This is a case of mistaken identity,” attorney Joe Landusky said.

Landusky was retained as Smith’s lawyer before Smith turned himself into Columbus police Tuesday night. Columbus police turned him over to Upper Arlington police about 7 p.m. Tuesday and Smith was arraigned at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning in municipal court.

Landusky said that there is not a mark on Smith, who is alleged to have been in a verbal and then physical altercation with McCoy before stabbing him.

Landusky said they took photos of Smith’s hands, neck and his entire body as well as the clothes he was wearing when he turned himself into police.

Landusky also stated that there is video evidence Smith was in another part of town at the time of the incident and that he believes Smith has never been to the restaurant.

According to the statement of facts read in court, Smith was identified by a photo lineup. Smith has 10 prior misdemeanors including assault and improper handling of firearms and four prior felonies. The prosecution requested a bond in excess of $2 million.

Smith faces one count of aggravated murder and, if convicted, faces life without the possibility of parole.

Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien shared the following statement on Wednesday evening:

"Based on information received after his court appearance this morning, the prosecutor's office requested that Jeffrey Smith be released from custody on a bond while further investigation is done. Charges currently remain pending and were not dismissed but he was released from jail."

Smith has a preliminary hearing scheduled at 9 a.m. June 22.

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