Commonwealth Journal

News Live

September 14, 2012

Smittle cleared of murder by grand jury

Somerset —  

A Pulaski County grand jury declined to indict a Eubank man accused of murdering another man in June during an argument at a camp site.

Carl “Ricky” Smittle, Jr., 50, who was arrested on murder charges on June 30, saw his case go before a grand jury last week.

Smittle was accused of shooting and killing Eric Scott Pitman, 34, during an argument in the Oil Center area on the banks of Fishing Creek. He had entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment in July.

The grand jury on Wednesday, Sept. 5, stated in court documents that they would not return an indictment against Smittle because “(i)nsufficient evidence exists to warrant an indictment by the Pulaski County Grand Jury at this time.”

The members of the jury asked that the case against Smittle be dismissed.

The case was presented to the grand jury by Det. John Hutchinson of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the sheriff’s department, after allegedly fleeing the scene of the incident, Smittle was eventually taken into custody without further incident at a residence on Stringtown Road in Science Hill.

The sheriff’s department also said that the two men were with several acquaintances when the alleged shooting occurred, and he said one those acquaintances called Pulaski County 911 immediately afterward.

Several witnesses placed Smittle as the shooter, according to the investigation by the sheriff’s department.

Smittle’s pre-trial hearing, held July 18, featured an argument from his defense attorney, Andrea Simpson, who said that he’d acted in self-defense when he shot Pitman.

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