Federal trial postponed for man accused in Five Points shooting of USC freshman

nophillips@thestate.comDecember 19, 2013 

The federal trial for the man accused of shooting an 18-year-old University of South Carolina student has been delayed.

The defense attorney for Michael Juan Smith said he needs more time to review the video footage from Five Points surveillance cameras. James P. Rogers said he had received a lot of footage to review.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey D. Haynes agreed with the request to delay the case.

Smith, 20, who goes by the nicknames “Flame” and “Junior,” appeared in court wearing a navy blue Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center jumpsuit with shackles on his hands and feet. He said very little to the judge but could be seen talking across the room to his family and friends before the hearing began.

Smith faces up to 10 years in federal prison on a charge of being a felon in possession of a gun.

In state court, his charges include assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Smith is accused of the Oct. 13 shooting of University of South Carolina freshman Martha Childress, who was standing near the Five Points fountain, waiting for a taxi ride, when she was struck by a what police have said was a stray bullet. Police said Smith was arguing with someone else and that Childress was an innocent bystander.

Childress, 18, graduated Wednesday from a rehabilitation center in Atlanta, where she learned to live in a wheelchair. She now is at home in Simpsonville, in the Upstate, with her family.

The bullet hit her spinal cord, and doctors have told the family that she will not be able to walk again.

She plans to enroll in online courses for the spring semester and to return to campus in the fall of 2014.

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