Evelyn T. Smith

Guest Speaker Evelyn T. Smith

Mrs. Evelyn T Smith, was acquitted of murdering her abusive husband because she was suffering from battered spouse syndrome, at the age of 34 Evelyn’  her then husband the late Charles Smith Jr. was routinely threatening and assaulting her. Evelyn accidently shot him in their New Carrolton, MD apartment on Nov 12 because she feared for her life.

Prosecutor Dwight Jackson, sought a first – degree murder conviction, the state felt strongly that this was a first- degree case, and he continued to feel that way.  Evelyn Smith’s trial, which began June 2, 1993, was widely publicized as the first of its kind in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Since, legislators passed what is commonly known as the “battered spouse syndrome Law”.   The statute explicitly allowed Evelyn’s attorney, Fred R. Joseph, to offer past evidence of abuse and its psychological effect on his client.

Mrs. Evelyn Smith testified that her husband punched and choked her repeatedly that night, threatened to kill her and was charging at her when she shot him once with a .38- caliber revolver.

Judge William D. Missouri likely would have allowed testimony about some of the earlier abuse .He said it was relevant because it showed that Charles Smith’s behavior that night was part of the pattern.

Mrs. Smith will be an advocate against Domestic Violence forever.