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Clipper update: Commentator Michael Smith acquitted

 Longtime Clipper commentator Michael Smith was acquitted of felony grand theft charges Tuesday morning by an Orange County jury.

The charges were in connection with a failed development project in Dana Point in 2008. Prosecutors had alleged that Smith duped a close friend into using his home, which had been paid off, as collateral for a $735,000 loan.

Smith's defense attorney, Dyke Huish, said in an interview with The Times that he was pleased  "the jury listened and was able to see the truth."

The jury came back with its verdict in about an hour, Huish said.

He also made a point of praising the Clipper organization for not rushing to judgment when Smith was charged.

"I'm so impressed with the Clippers for allowing the system to work before making a rash judgment," Huish said. "Michael is very relieved. His life literally hung in the balance for something he never did."

 -- Lisa Dillman

 
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