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Monday, May 2, 2016

Smith hearing continued

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Emotions boil over at Fulton County murder trial

Case Continued: Stephen Smith (left) is escorted by Fulton County deputy Paul Martin towards the back door of the Fulton County Courthouse July 5. Smith has been charged with first degree murder in the death of his friend Joshua Mullins. Photo/Jared

A hearing to determine whether 17-year-old Stephen Smith will be charged as an adult or juvenile for the murder of his friend 14-year-old Joshua Mullins was postponed July 5 at the Fulton County Courthouse.

"I think both sides have made motions with the court that are pending and I think it would be better if they were heard in the August setting," said Bradley Sipe, Smith's court-appointed public defender.

A bewildered looking Smith stood shackled at the ankles and wrists as Fulton County Circuit Judge Tim Weaver agreed with Sipe to continue the hearing until next month.

Smith, a Mammoth Spring native, has been charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Mullins. According to investigators, Smith shot Mullins in the head with a 20-gauge shotgun May 25.

The shooting occurred in Smith's home.

The Fulton County Courthouse was charged with emotion as Smith entered the courtroom. A friend of the Mullins family cried and appeared agitated as Smith was taken from the courtroom.

"Oh my God, I can't believe this is happening," the woman said.

As Smith walked across the lawn in front of the courthouse an elderly man attempted to stop Kevin Pieper, a photo-journalist for the Baxter Bulletin from taking Smith's picture.

"You're sorry, you know he's just a kid," the man yelled as he slapped at Pieper's camera.

Chief deputy Paul Martin of the Fulton County Sheriff's Department told the man to back away as he escorted Smith through the courthouse doors.

Moments after Smith was escorted back into the Fulton County jail, 19-year-old Samuel Mullins, Josh Mullins' brother, was escorted by Fulton County deputies into the courtroom.

Samuel Mullins has been charged with felony arson after he allegedly set fire to a trailer adjacent to Smith's Mammoth Spring home.

The fire was started three days after the shooting.

Twayna Mullins, the mother of both Samuel and Josh Mullins, was visibly upset over seeing Smith and her son in shackles.

Smith's trial is slated to begin Dec. 13.

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