Mother Concerned Judge Over Son's Murder Trial May Be Good Friends with Suspect

LITTLE ROCK, Ark -- A Central Arkansas mother is concerned the judge over her son's murder trial may be good friends with the suspect.

Tiffany Smith said she found out on social media the two may know each other and is now concerned she may not get a fair trial.

"I have notes that I took today of the phones calls that I made throughout the day to the prosecutors and to different lawyers," said Smith.

Smith is on a mission to make sure her one-year-old son, Devon Lazarus, gets the justice he deserves.

"He was just so loved," said Smith.

Devon was napping in his crib at their Pulaski County home last November, when authorities said Lucinda Edwards-Harris, driving a truck, ran off the road and barrelled into the room the baby was sleeping in -- hitting and killing him.

"I'm not doing too well. I could be better," said Smith.

Edwards-Smith is set to stand trial in December on a misdemeanor negligent homicide charge, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

Smith plans to be there.

"I would like to see her face. I'm curious to see if there is any remorse there," said Smith.

But she fears victory may not come so easy,  after finding out Edwards-Harris is Facebook friends with Judge Leon Johnson, who's set to preside over the trial.

"I wonder if they actually know each other," said Smith.

She wants Judge Johnson to recuse him if her hunch is true.

"When it's all over,  I want to sure that I've done everything I possibly could to get the justice that he deserves," said Smith.

Little Rock lawyer Bill James said Smith's motion has to be proven.

"Does he know the person? How close does he know the person? Is that a situation that creates?" said James.

James said it will be up to the judge to make the decision whether to recuse. He advises people like Smith to keep their eyes open.

"You make your record and if you think the judge needs to recuse, you bring it up," said James.

"I'm sure it will all come out in the wash, we'll find out what's really going on," said Smith.

She said she's talked with the prosecuting attorney's office, who is representing her family, about the situation and they are monitoring the situation closely.

 


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