Attorney withdraws from Smith case

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PITTSFIELD — Less than one week after Robert D. Smith was arraigned on charges connected to a fatal January hit-and-run crash, his case has already hit a snag.

Smith has been charged in the January hit-and-run death of Gerald P. Scott Jr.

Smith's attorney, Nathaniel Green, informed Judge Daniel Ford Monday in Berkshire Superior Court, that he has a conflict and must withdraw from the case.

Green said in looking over the discovery evidence provided by the state last week, he noted he has conflicts with several potential witnesses and, in light of those, cannot continue to represent Smith.

Green said he received "voluminous" amounts of discovery evidence following the Aug. 3 arraignment and was not aware of the conflict until he started combing through that paperwork.

Green said Smith was "not happy," that he was going to have to withdraw from the case. Green said he wasn't "all that happy," about having to do so, either.

That situation also pushes back a hearing, scheduled for Monday, that would have determined whether a prohibition against driving would be added to Smith's conditions for release.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Daniel Hespeler said Monday Smith's license is currently suspended as an immediate threat, pending a hearing before the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Smith, 39, of Pittsfield, entered not guilty pleas to charges of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident with death resulting; misleading a police officer; attempt to burn a motor vehicle and tampering with evidence in the crash that killed Scott, who was 53.

Scott was struck and killed on Jan. 19 while riding his bicycle on Linden Street near Robbins Avenue. The car that struck him allegedly did not stop following the collision. Scott was pronounced dead at the scene.

The car was found the next day in Pittsfield. Smith is alleged to have attempted to destroy evidence by burning the vehicle.

The hearing to determine new counsel and potentially take up the bail conditions issue is scheduled for Aug. 10.

Reach staff writer Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249 or @BobDunn413 on Twitter.




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