JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) -- A Jackson County judge has rejected a self-defense claim by Brittany Smith, who is charged with murder and now faces the prospect of going to trial.
Brittany Smith is charged in the January 2018 shooting death of Todd Smith, who is not related. She testified at a self-defense, immunity hearing last month that Smith raped and choked her into unconsciousness. She claimed she shot Todd Smith after he choked her brother.
But Circuit Judge Jennifer Holt rejected the self-defense claim, questioning whether deadly force was necessary to protect Brittany Smith’s brother while he fought with Todd Smith.
The judge also said physical evidence of Brittany Smith’s injuries show bruising to her neck, bite marks, and a broken fingernail. But the judge said the injuries did not reflect sexual assault. The judge also said she could have fled to safety.
The judge did note that Todd Smith had significant amounts of methamphetamine in his system when he died, according to testimony from the hearing.
The court faulted Brittany Smith for what it called her inconsistent statements to police, including originally saying her brother shot Todd Smith.