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Suspect in American Family Murder Mentally Fit, Lawyer Claims

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, August 16
Lawyer Aleksandre Kobaidze , who is now protecting the interests of 19-year-old shepherd Malkhaz Kobauri, a suspect in a brutal murder case of Ryan, Lora Smith, and their 4-year-old son Caleb, claims that the experts of the Tbilisi Forensic Bureau concluded the suspect is mentally fit, who is capable of making logical decisions.

The lawyer says that he was waiting for such a result, as Kobauri is innocent and he is right in his statements that the family was killed by several foreigners and not by him.

The lawyer had to repeat that his defendant’s genetic profile was found on Lora Smith’s body. But he says that the fact does not mean that the woman was raped before death.

Kobauri says that he has never had a sexual relationship and is demanding expertise to prove he is virgin.

The investigation has not yet provided the conclusions of the mental check of Kobauri, as well as the paper which would say that the living presence of Kobauri was found on Lora Smith’s body.

Mtskheta court in eastern Georgia sent Kobauri to pre-trial detention on July 11 for the brutal murder of the Smith Family, Ryan, Lora Smith and their 4-year-old son Caleb on July 4.

Kobauri does not admit to the crime and speaks about " several foreigners” [initially he mentioned only two foreigners] who killed the family and threatened him to conceal the truth.

The case prosecutor says that a verbal dispute between Kobauri and Ryan Smith emerged because of the rifle the shepherd had with him.

“Ryan Smith made a remark to Kobauri, who was drunk, and said that he was not cautious with the weapon, especially in the presence of the child,” prosecutor David Kazarashvili told the court. Kazarashvili said that during the dispute Kobauri shot Ryan Smith, while Lora Smith tried to escape and fell from a cliff.

The prosecutor did not mention rape during the trial, but the Interior Ministry confirmed in its previous statements that the alleged rape of Lora Smith was also being investigated.

Kobauri himself showed the site to the police where the child’s body was buried.

Kobauri is facing life imprisonment if found guilty.