Attorney Mark Smith’s trial back in Sept. ended in mistrial.
Guam – Former Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority Atty. Mark Smith is hoping the double jeopardy clause will save him from facing trial a second time and lead to dismissal of his section 8 fraud case.
Smith and his friend Glenn Wong were indicted on charges related to section 8 fraud and went to trial back in September. But after a few days of trial, a mistrial was declared and Smiths’ legal counsel, Atty. Dave Lujan, was disqualified.
Federal Judge Ramona Manglona cited a conflict of interest for Lujan since he too previously served as GHURA legal counsel. But Smith is now arguing that mistrial was declared too early and without first exploring other viable options.
Smith argues that the double jeopardy rule is intended to prevent defendants from facing repeated prosecutions of the same offense. In addition, Smith is accusing the U.S. Attorney’s Office of prosecutorial misconduct because their purpose in bringing Smith to trial was not for a conviction, but was for it to end in mistrial by using Lujan’s conflict of interest against the defense.
“This is nothing short of prosecutorial misconduct and an opportunistic abuse of our system of justice,” said Atty. William Gavras, Smith’s new legal counsel.
He is also seeking reinstatement of Lujan as Smith’s legal counsel.