Today at the Editor’s glance: In Court, the mercurial L’Darius Smith—acquitted four years ago of molesting his sisters, convicted in January of aggravated assault, scheduled for sentencing Friday–appears before Circuit Judge Terence Perkins at 8:30 this morning for his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Regina Nunnally, to argue a motion for a new trial. The argument: “The verdict is contrary to the weight of the evidence.” Nunnally has a strong point: the evidence for conviction was weak, the roles of Smith’s victims were sharpened with aggression, taunting and an acrid overlay of racism, and aside from a nickel flicked against one of the two men in the confrontation, there was no contact between the parties.
But Smith projected an attitude in court that hurt him–a mixture of indifference, cockiness and rudeness, behavior that, however unjustly and incorrectly, may have weighed into the jury’s decision (juries look at everything, that’s why defense lawyers implore their clients to be on their most studied behavior). Perkins is not into second-guessing juries. It would be unusual for him to grant the motion–a variation on Nunnally’s motion for acquittal during trial. But not granting the hearing would set up an appeal on grounds of ineffective defense. Still: same case, same evidence, but different–perhaps more northerly–jury, and the outcome would have been different. Smith would not have been acquitted, but he would (he should) have been found guilty of lesser-included offenses of improper exhibition of a weapon and assault, both misdemeanors. The jury had those options (see the jury form). It did not go for them, and it got it wrong. It certainly was not a case of aggravated assault. Read Nunnally’s full argument here. The Flagler County Commission meets at 9 a.m. at the Government Services Building, 1769 East Moody Boulevard, Bunnell.
Health Department’s Covid Testing and Vaccination Schedule and Information:
The Florida Department of Health in Flagler County (DOH-Flagler) has modified its COVID-19 testing schedule at the Flagler County Fairgrounds for the Labor Day holiday. Testing will not be offered either Saturday, September 4 or Monday, September 6.
Priority will be given to any students, faculty and school staff of public or private schools in Flagler County, followed by the general public, who should schedule testing appointments by calling 386-437-7350 ext. 0.
All individuals and families should consider the following when testing with DOH-Flagler.
- Testing should take place at least 3 to 5 days after exposure. Testing sooner than this may result in false negatives.
- Plan ahead and expect long lines. Bring snacks and drinks in the car, as well as books or toys to keep kids entertained while waiting for your turn. Note: you will park and walk into the Cattleman’s Hall where testing takes place. This is NOT a drive- through test site.
- Wear a mask inside the testing facility. Should you test positive, you may be asked to exit the facility and wait for the rest of your party outside to avoid transmission.
- DOH staff and volunteers are working extended hours to keep pace with the significant demand for testing. We are expanding our team to help with testing, contact tracing and case investigation, and appreciate your patience during this challenging time.
- It will take time for case investigators and contact tracers to reach you when/if you or your child tests positive for COVID-19. You or your child will need to isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms. Take initiative to protect your loved ones by speaking with family members and other close contacts so they can get tested and watch for symptoms.
- If you are identified as a close contact to someone who tests positive, you may not hear from the health department if resources are not available.
- If you have been vaccinated (two weeks after your final dose) you will not need to quarantine if you do not have symptoms.
- If you have symptoms, get tested as soon as possible.
- Students will need to quarantine at least four days after the date of exposure.
The weekday testing schedule for September 4 through 12 follows:
Wednesday, September 8 8AM to 12 noon Flagler County Fairgrounds
Thursday, September 9 8AM to 12 noon Flagler County Fairgrounds
Friday, September 10 8AM to 12 noon Flagler County Fairgrounds
Saturday, September 11 CLOSED
Sunday, September 12 CLOSED
As a reminder, the health department does not offer testing for travel verification or provide return-to-work notes.
Vaccinations continue to be offered at 301 Dr. Carter Blvd three afternoons a week – Monday (except Labor Day), Tuesday and Wednesday from 3:30 to 6:00PM. Appointments are preferred; Walk-ins are welcome.
The health department is awaiting additional guidance for the administration of booster doses and expects to add vaccinations to its operation at the Flagler County Fairgrounds later this month. Details will be shared when plans are finalized. Currently, CVS, Walgreens, Publix and Walmart are offering boosters to immunocompromised individuals.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccination and testing locally, please visit flagler.floridahealth.gov. For testing and vaccine appointments, please call 386-437-7350 ext. 0 weekdays between 8AM and 4:30PM.
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