A prosecutor and the brother of a slain Catoosa police chief are asking the state Pardon and Parole Board to deny a parole for a man convicted in the 1978 killing.

David G. Smith has been recommended for parole by one of the board’s investigators and has the support of several officials and employees of the state Department of Corrections.


A prosecutor and the brother of a slain Catoosa police chief are asking the state Pardon and Parole Board to deny a parole for a man convicted in the 1978 killing.
David G. Smith has been recommended for parole by one of the board’s investigators and has the support of several officials and employees of the state Department of Corrections.
But Rogers County District Attorney Gene Haynes told the board on Tuesday there is a flaw in Smith’s claim to be a changed man.
“He’s still sticking to a story that is incredible to me,” that he was an unwilling participant in a tag agency robbery that led to the shooting death of Police Chief J.B. Hamby, Haynes said after testifying before the parole board.
The prosecutor and Dave Hamby, the victim’s brother, said Smith’s claim is contradicted by witnesses, who said Smith followed the shooter into the tag agency, stuck a gun in the face of a clerk and ripped a telephone cord out of the wall.
“Those are the facts — undeniable — except for his story,” Haynes said.
“He done the crime, he just needs to do the time,” said Dave Hamby, who described Smith as “a smart, articulate, cool person” who has “continually distorted the truth.”
Smith, 54, got a life sentence on a first-degree murder conviction. The man identified as the shooter in the case, Jackie Ray Young, committed suicide by shooting himself after the robbery.
Doug Parr, Smith’s lawyer, said his client has passed a lie detector’s test denying he fired a gun. Parr accused police and prosecutors of hiding evidence to support Smith’s claim.
“Finally, prosecutors also hid evidence that the eyewitnesses who testified at trial had given statements before the trial that contradicted their trial testimony,” the attorney said.
On Thursday, Smith is scheduled to address the board via video conference from Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington.
The board’s investigator recommended that Smith be paroled from the life term to the four-year sentence he received for escaping from the prison 23 years ago.
Smith’s attorneys say Smith walked away from state custody in 1985 to rescue his wife, who had been the victim of a rape and extortion scheme carried out by a prison employee.
They said Smith lived in South Dakota under an assumed name, never getting into trouble and becoming parts and service director of a large auto dealership. He was returned to custody in 1993.
In a packet prepared for the board’s consideration, corrections officials including a former warden, a chaplain and a security chief said Smith has been an exemplary inmate who has learned his lesson and deserves being returned to society.
One official said the inmate had saved the state thousands of dollars as a print shop operator and had the skills and attitude to be successful outside prison walls.