Published 12:26 pm Friday, December 30, 2005
By By JOHN EBY / Niles Daily Star
The Michigan Supreme Court Tuesday ordered that Keith Brandon Smith's application for leave to appeal an Aug. 16, 2005, Court of Appeals order be denied.
The defendant “failed to meet the burden of establishing entitlement to relief,” according to the order.
A Cass County Circuit Court jury on Sept. 25, 2001, found Smith, then 19, of Elkhart, Ind., guilty of second-degree murder in the Jan. 1, 2000, shooting death of Jason Glaum, 25, also of Elkhart.
The lesser charge of second-degree murder, reached after two days of deliberation by a jury of nine women and three men before Circuit Judge Michael E. Dodge, is punishable by up to life in prison, but holds out possibility of parole.
First-degree murder's life sentence is mandatory.
Glaum's body was found New Year's Day, shot eight times with a 9 mm handgun in a snowy yard off Redfield Road in Mason Township.
Smith, who told authorities numerous versions of what happened, including a taped confession, maintained his innocence when he took the witness stand under oath to testify in his own defense.
Smith said his uncle pulled the trigger and that he lied about it to uphold a pact they made.
Smith was tried by then-Cass County Prosecutor Scott Teter.