The Virginia Court of Appeals has denied Randy Smoot’s petition to overturn a Rappahannock County Circuit Court jury’s conviction on manslaughter issued in August 2018.
A one-judge appeals court panel has found that the evidence to support an appeal judgement presented by the Flint Hill resident was insufficient.
At issue was whether Smoot had been properly identified during the trial as the defendant. The Appeals Court ruled that by testifying in his own defense, Smoot identified himself as the defendant.
Smoot, 48, had been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Harris Hollow resident Jonas “Jay” Alther in an encounter between the two men in October 2017. Before the trial began, Smoot entered a plea of not guilty, claiming self defense.
After hearing two and a half days of testimony, the jury deliberated for three and a half hours before returning a verdict of voluntary manslaughter. Smoot was sentenced in September 2018 to eight months in jail. Accounting for time already served behind bars, Smoot was released in December 2018.