The criminal case against a 44-year-old Logan man charged in 1st District Court with sexually abusing a child remains stagnant after the man was not adequately prepared to proceed in his own defense Monday at a preliminary hearing.
Cody C. Smith, 44, who claims to be an American state national, was charged in November 2017 with six counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony. During his hearing, he ordered the court to dismiss the cases against him.
Local defense attorney Shannon Demler was appointed to represent the man, but Smith said he “fired” Demler and has since prepared to defend himself in the matter from his prison cell in Gunnison, where he is serving time on a prior child sex abuse conviction.
During opening statements at Monday’s court hearing, Smith read a lengthy prewritten statement in which he said he was not bound by the authority of the court and the charges against him are fraudulent.
“I never have injured anyone … I proclaim my innocence before this court and my God,” he said.
When he got down to business, Smith objected to the prosecution’s intent to play a two-hour interview with the alleged victim because he has a right to have her available for cross-examination. And, he stated, he had not yet received discovery in his case as requested — a violation of his right to due process.
According to Cache County prosecutor Jake Gordon, Smith’s first request for discovery came from his mother, who is not an attorney on his behalf. As a result, Gordon said, his office can not turn over discovery to her, but Smith had the ability to make a written request and the information could be mailed to him.
As of Monday morning, he said, the Cache County Attorney’s Office had not received a written request for that information; however, he had the information in hand and presented a verbally itemized packet of information to Smith, which was documented in the court record.
As Judge Thomas Willmore questioned Smith on this and other matters, it appeared Smith was not familiar with the rules of criminal procedure.
Willmore explained the proper procedures for Smith to follow in his defense and made him aware of a previous court ruling that granted him a right to an investigator at the county’s expense, something Willmore thought would be beneficial given Smith’s current incarceration.
The preliminary hearing was rescheduled for July 15, allowing Smith additional to review discovery, subpoena witnesses and file any motions he wanted the court to consider.