02 - 23 - 2012 Convicted mother-in-law wants a new trial
(LS) After being found guilty of 1st degree murder in the shooting death of Michael Hockenberry in 2010, Brenda Smith's defense is now seeking a new trial. Smith's attorneys claim recorded statements she made in a visitation with her husband were obtained surreptitiously, that she was presented to the jury unfavorably, did not clearly have her Miranda rights explained, & that the jury didn't understand the distinction between 1st & 3rd degree murder. Media coverage of Smith's case also was claimed as a detriment & the court's refusal of permitting Hockenberry's alleged abusive criminal record of his first wife. Smith was sentenced after the guilty verdict of killing her son-in-law during a domestic dispute. Her defense is prepared to appeal the case all the way to state superior court if the appeal is denied.