The woman described by Liberty County Public Defender Joshua Brockington as a scorned ex-girlfriend, took the stand offering a compelling account of what transpired the day Orlejandro Mark Smalls was killed during a poker game held at a friend’s house in the 600 block of South Main Street.
It was on that night Oct. 29, 2010 that her on again, off again boyfriend of roughly 25 years, Terrence G. Jones, planned an event that would only unfold almost five years later.
“It was going to be a robbery,” Mrs. Smith told the jurors while being questioned by Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden. “He said he was going to go over there and rob the place because they keep a lot of money in there.”
Smith said Jones asked her to drive him and his friend Antwan Lewis, known to his friends as A-1, to the home. She said they drove to the home some time between 5-6 p.m. to survey the scene and then returned to the home she shared with Jones back then. She said Jones then shaved his head so he wouldn’t have any hair traced back to him and the two men prepared for the robbery by making and trying out masks.
“He put the mask on to make sure he could see out of it,” she told the jurors. She procced to detail how Jones got his semi-automatic hand gun, cleaned each bullet and then placed them in the gun and went as far as placing gauze in his mouth to mask his voice.
She described Lewis as being slightly taller than Jones and he also prepared a mask and an AK-47 rifle.
She said the trio headed out around 8 or 9 p.m. and she dropped the two men off near the home. She parked and waited behind a restaurant on Highway 84. Smith testified saying that roughly 15 minutes later the two men walked toward her and the car, and while it was dark outside, they didn’t attempt to hide the guns in their hands. She said Jones got in to the car and said he had killed Mark (Smalls).
“And I looked back at Lewis and he shook his head indicating yes,” she told the jury. “And he (Jones) said, ‘Let’s go,’ so I pulled off and he felt like (having) a beer.” Smith added they proceeded back to her place where Jones had a beer and then took off with Lewis to a party they previously attended that day. The two men returned within five minutes when they realized the party had ended.
She said it was her idea of driving to Holmestown Road when Jones decided they had to ditch some of the items they had taken. She added she counted the money and they drove to a section of Holmestown Road where the pavement end and the dirt begins, near to where it intersects with E.B. Cooper Highway. The men started tossing items out the window and stripped down to their underwear and burned their clothes. She added Jones tossed the handgun into the wooded are as well.
Smith said she kept her mouth closed until she feared for her life after a domestic dispute with Jones in October, 2013.
Earlier today Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Detective Chris Reed took the stand to mention he first interviewed Smith regarding Jones on Oct. 7, 2013. The conversation was brief and was unrelated to the case on trial.
Smith said on Oct. 19, 2013 their tumultuous relationship came to head when Jones not only threatened to kill her but her two daughters as well.
She said she knew it was time to come forward and reveal her secret.
Smith contacted an attorney and offered the testimony in court today under the condition of immunity of prosecution in Smalls’ death.
Reed and Hinesville Police Detective Lt. Suzie Jackson testified that it was Smith who took them to the dirt road area of Holmestown Road where a team of investigators did manage to retrieve items that were stolen from the folks who were at the poker game the night Smalls was killed.
The state also brought forward compelling testimony from FBI experts tying bullet fragments recovered from the scene and Smalls' body to the gun allegedly used in the crime.
The state has a few more witnesses they plan to call Thursday before resting their case at which time the defense will bring their witnesses forward to counter the state’s testimony.
The Courier will provide updates as they become available.