Murder trial for Lima teenager is pushed back

·1 min read

Jul. 21—LIMA — The murder trial for a Lima teenager scheduled for Aug. 16 has been postponed at the request of the Allen County Public Defenders Office.

Defense attorney Steve Chamberlain on Monday filed a motion seeking a continuance of the jury trial for Ja'naz Smith, one of two juveniles who police say shot and killed Danielle Jackson during a robbery attempt more than a year and a half ago outside Pappy's Lounge in Lima.

Chamberlain's motion said the defense has recently engaged a consulting psychologist and mitigation expert in the case, and additional time was necessary "for those professionals to complete their work."

The motion further stated that "it has been suggested that the state may seek to join a second case to this for trial."

The continuance was granted by Judge Terri Kohlrieser.

According to court records, a Sept. 13 jury trial is still scheduled for Smith on a charge of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony with a firearm specification, for an incident that allegedly took place in April 2020.

Smith, 17, was indicted in January on charges of aggravated murder in connection with Jackson's death. Jackson, 44, was found in the rear parking lot of Pappy's Lounge, 1000 W. North St., in the early-morning hours of Jan. 20, 2020. He had been shot and was pronounced dead after being transported to Mercy Health-St. Rita's Medical Center, which is just a block away from the shooting scene.

Two juveniles were arrested April 13 by Lima police for their involvement in the homicide. The other juvenile alleged to have been involved in Jackson's death has not been charged as an adult.

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