Prosecutor drops charges against Upper Arlington murder suspect

Lawyer Joe Landusky (left) and Jeffrey Smith (right) discuss Smith's arrest and the dropping of his charges. (Chris Poturalski/WBNS-10TV)

Murder charges pending in municipal court against Jeffrey Lamar Smith were dismissed this morning at the request of Prosecutor Ron O’Brien’s office following the completion of an additional investigation by the Upper Arlington Police.

" I feel relieved," Smith said during a press conference Tuesday. "A big burden has been taken off my shoulders."

Smith had been released on his own recognizance at the Prosecutor’s request after questions were raised at his first court appearance.

"I can’t even explain being in court for murder... a million and a half dollar bond," said Smith. "It makes you want to drop to the floor."

At about 4:30 p.m. June 11, 31-year-old Charles Edward Hale McCoy was in an argument with a person in the 1600 block of West Lane Avenue. McCoy was stabbed and later died.

Fifty-one-year-old Jeffrey L. Smith turned himself in to Columbus police Tuesday night.

"When I heard it on the news, I couldn’t believe it. So, the first thing I thought of was turn myself in," he said.

At his arraignment Wednesday morning, attorney Joe Landusky said, “This is a case of mistaken identity."

"These kind of things can happen. Our system is not perfect," said Landusky. "It’s a flaw in humanity... None of us are perfect. We all fall short at times."

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.

"He came into my office and he looked just as pretty as he can look. He didn’t have a mark on him," Landusky said.

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

Any additional enforcement action will be taken and announced by Upper Arlington Police, the prosecutor said in a release.

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