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Ex-Oakland Raider accused of murder to be retried next week

June 29, 2012 |  2:23 pm

Anthony Smith at the Raider Camp in 1994

Jury selection in the retrial of Anthony Wayne Smith, a former Oakland Raiders defensive end accused of murdering a Lancaster mechanic, is scheduled to begin Monday, his defense attorneys said.

Michael S. Evans, who is representing Smith, said the new trial was set to take place in the Antelope Valley courtroom of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Carlos A. Chung.

Smith’s original trial, for his alleged role in the killing of 31-year-old Maurilio Ponce on Oct. 7, 2008, ended in a hung jury in April when the panel failed to reach agreement on a verdict. After nine days of deliberation, jurors split 8 to 4 for a guilty verdict, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Smith, 44, who played professional football with the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders in the 1990s, has remained in custody since the trial, Evans confirmed.

Also charged in connection with Ponce’s death and awaiting trial is 33-year-old Dewann Wesley White of Bloomington. A third defendant, Eric Honest, 42, of Los Angeles, was found guilty in April of second-degree murder. He is awaiting sentencing, defense attorneys said.

During Smith’s original trial, Evans had argued that his client was innocent and had no reason to kill Ponce. Further, there was no physical evidence, such as DNA or a gun with Smith's fingerprints, to tie him to the crime, Evans said.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, hinged much of their case on cellphone tracking technology that they argued had placed Smith and his two alleged accomplices near the scene of Ponce's killing. Ponce's body was found with six gunshot wounds, including two to the head.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Taly Peretz had urged the jury to convict Smith of first-degree murder.

RELATED:

Murder trial of ex-Raiders player begins

Former Raiders player, 2 others accused of murder

Discrepancies cited in testimony at ex-Raider's murder trial

-- Ann M. Simmons in Santa Clarita

Photo: Anthony Smith at the Raider camp in 1994. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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