Dale County murder trial for Montgomery Police officer

Aaron Cody Smith (Source: WSFA)
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- A judge has set a date and location for the murder trial of Montgomery police officer Aaron Cody Smith.

Smith’s trial will take place in Dale County and is slated to begin on Nov. 18.

Smith is charged with murder for the Feb. 25, 2016 on-duty shooting death of Gregory Gunn.

The presiding judge retired from the judicial circuit that covers Dale County.

The state had pushed hard to move the trial to Jefferson County to mirror the demographics of Montgomery for selecting a jury.

Smith was set to go on trial in August 2018, but the Alabama Supreme Court issued a stay while his attorneys filed several petitions.

The high court denied Smith immunity from prosecution but agreed Circuit Judge Greg Griffin should recuse due to possible bias and the trial should be moved.

The Supreme Court appointed retired Circuit Judge Philip Ben McLauchlin Jr., of Dale County to preside over the trial.

According to the Associated Press, McLauchlin was the ninth judge appointed to the case after several others recused themselves.

This is the first criminal prosecution from Montgomery County that will be heard in a different judicial circuit in recent memory.

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