LIMA — A teenager who walked into an Allen County courtroom in handcuffs and leg irons Wednesday left a short time later with a tentative trial date on a charge of murder.
Judge Terri Kohlrieser set an Aug. 16 trial for Ja’naz Smith, 16, charged in the shooting death more than a year ago of Danielle Jackson, after the youngster formally waived his constitutional right to a speedy trial.
Smith was just 15 when police say he shot and killed Jackson during a robbery attempt outside Pappy’s Lounge, 1000 W. North St., on Jan. 20, 2020. Smith is one of two juveniles who allegedly took part in the shooting. The other juvenile is not being tried as an adult.
Smith was indicted in January by an Allen County grand jury on charges of aggravated murder, an unclassified felony that includes a firearm specification; aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, also with a firearm specification; and tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree.
Jackson’s body was found in the early-morning hours in the rear parking lot of the North Street bar. Jackson was found suffering from gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead after being transported to Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center, which is just a block away from the shooting scene.
Defense attorney Steve Chamberlain said in court Wednesday that he intends to file several motions with the court in the coming weeks.
A grand jury also indicted Smith on an additional count of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification for his alleged role in a separate incident that took place between April 9-11 of last year. Kohlrieser set a tentative trial date of Sept. 13 in that case.