Judge in murder case involving MPD officer denies defense's motions

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The judge in a high-profile murder case involving a Montgomery Police Officer has denied three motions by the defense.

Montgomery Judge Greg Griffin, who is presiding over the murder case of MPD Officer Aaron "Cody" Smith, denied all three motions in a single-order late Tuesday. Griffin initially set a hearing for these motions for next week but later canceled that hearing without explanation.

The defense will most likely file an appeal.

The defense for Smith filed the motions Monday, requesting the judge to recuse from the case, a change of venue, and to disqualify the District Attorney's Office.

The motions were filed after Griffin denied Smith immunity from prosecution Thursday, affirming the trial date of August 13. The defense called Judge Greg Griffin's assertion that MPD Officer Aaron Cody Smith's testimony lacked credibility as 'erroneous and potently fatal', citing language from a Supreme Court decision,

The prosecution responded to the defense's motions Tuesday to the motions stating,

"In situations where premature remarks are made, a red flag is raised in regard to potential bias on the part of the judge", the defense motion stated. "In such a case, this Court must closely review the remarks and conduct of the trial judge to ensure that the accused was, in fact, accorded fairness in all stages of his trial."

The defense has also petitioned the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals for a Writ of Mandamus that would force the judge to grant Smith's immunity. The defense also requested a stay to halt circuit court proceedings while the appellate court considered their petition.

Smith's trial is less than two weeks away.

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