THE NATIONAL and international media poured into Cobb to cover the three-week-long saga of the Waseem Daker murder trial in Judge Mary Staley’s courtroom. “Dateline NBC,” “20/20,” Court TV and “Inside Edition” have all had reporters on the story at some point since the trial began Sept. 10.
The story of the 1995 murder of Karmen Smith and savage but nonfatal stabbing of her young son, Nick, even went international, with a crew from Japan’s Fuji TVs top rated morning news magazine, “Tokudane,” visiting for a few days. Those producers said the jury system is new in Japan, and television cameras are not allowed at all, which makes any glimpse of court cases interesting to viewers there. The trial, which at times was bizarre, with the defendant representing himself, concluded Monday with Staley sentencing Daker to the maximum possible, life in prison plus 47 and a half years, with the possibility of parole.
Meanwhile, Cobb lawyer Jason Shepherd tells Around Town he was a high school classmate of Daker at Chattahoochee High in north Fulton, where both were members of the Academic Bowl team.
“I remember he was smart kid and a hard worker, but not someone who was easy to get to know,” Shepherd said. “I’ve talked to several of my friends who I am still in touch with from his class and no one seems to remember him. However, from what I can recall, he was the type of person that I figured the next time I heard of him he would be working in a research lab somewhere, not on trial for murder.”