The defendant who represented himself in a Marietta murder trial was sentenced Monday morning to life plus 47 and a half years in prison.
The sentence might have been worse under current law, but the judge had to use the guidelines in place in
1995, the time of the murder of Karmen Smith and the stabbing of her son, Nicholas, then five years old.
Nick Smith, now 22 and a recent graduate of the University of Georgia, was the only witness to speak in the sentencing hearing, which lasted about an hour. Talking through tears, he described the “scared, sad little boy” he was after the stabbing, “branded” by his wounds. “He’s finally caught and I’m finally free. I love you, Mom,” he said.
It was Nick Smith that Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley talked about first when she sentenced Waseem Daker. Watching his testimony during the three-week trial, Staley said she felt she witnessed the boy grow into a man and “look you in the eye,” she told Daker. She said Smith showed “remarkable enduring strength in that moment.”
Staley gave Daker the maximum sentence recommended by Assistant District Attorney Jesse Evans for the 11-count conviction. Several of the charges were merged together. The sentence includes: life for the first murder count, 20 years for aggravated assault, 20 years for burglary, five years for false imprisonment and 2 and a half years for criminal intent to commit aggravated stalking.
“I hope you never leave prison – ever – because that would be just,” Staley told Daker. The judge agreed with Evans’ assertion that the case has no mitigating facts and that Daker is dangerous. She added, “I think you’re dangerous in prison. I hope they keep a close watch on you.”
Daker maintained his innocence. “I did not kill Karmen Smith. I did not stab Nick Smith. I hope one day the truth will come out because this is not it.”
Daker came to court every day of the trial looking like a lawyer, wearing a suit and tie. For the sentencing, he was dressed in a standard red Cobb County Jail jumpsuit.
Daker refused to sign the five sentencing orders, which the judge noted with each order, adding, “in his cowardly way” each time. The orders were signed by the judge, the prosecutor and Daker’s court appointed defense attorney, Jason Treadaway, who was fired by Daker then ordered by the judge to remain as backup counsel.
The judge also said she was authorizing Cobb County Circuit Public Defender Randy Harris to recover from Daker the costs of his court appointed counsel, “whom you manipulated and abused.” She instructed Treadaway to file Daker’s motion for new trial, and dismissed Daker by telling the sheriff’s deputies surrounding him, “Take him out.”