Jury Deliberates on Cawford Co. Murder Trial

A man’s fate now rests with a Crawford County jury.

They have spent the past five and a half hours deliberating on whether Matthew Smith is guilty of murder.

“This was not a fistfight. This was not a bar fight. This was a severe, brutal beating that ended in murder,” said Crawford County Prosecutor, Sierra Koch.

Crawford County Prosecutor Sierra Koch says she has no doubt of Matthew Smith’s guilt.

“Dennis’ skull had a huge hole in it. He had fractures, abrasions and contusions all over his entire his entire body. The last person that was seen alive with him was Matt, at the exact location that his murdered body was found,” said Koch.

However, Smith’s attorney says there’s simply not enough proof to convict his client.

“120 plus pieces of evidence, nine of which tie my client to these crimes,” said Matthew Smith’s Attorney, Kevin Hesselink.

He says the prosecutor left too many questions unanswered.

“Who did it? How was it done? When was it done? What weapon was used?” said Hesselink.

Now the decision is up to the jury.

“It’s not enough to say well I think. Maybe? Could’ve been? Might’ve been? Should’ve been? It’s not enough,” said Hesselink.

The jury started deliberating around 12:30 Friday afternoon.

Stay with Northern Michigan’s News Leader on-air and online as we work to bring you their decision once it’s reached.