James Smith
Name James Stephen Smith
Title Defense Attorney
Occupation Attorney
Bar review essay grader (former)
Pathology Triple murderer
Family Unnamed parents (deceased)
Patricia Smith (sister)
Status Institutionalized
Actor Denis O'Hare
First Appearance "Pro Se"

James Stephen Smith is a mentally ill defense attorney who thought women were the "the tools of his enemies" through an old story in the Bible called the wife of Heber.


Smith grew up with his sister Patricia in their home and eventually attended Princeton University, majoring in law and minoring in theology. He had a girlfriend at the time. At the age of 23, he tried to strangle his girlfriend, thinking she wanted to stick needles in his brain. He was subsequently hospitalized for six months and diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Smith later attended University of Michigan Law School and got into trouble when he trashed an office.

Despite this, Smith graduated summa cum laude law review, with a Postdoctoral Associateship in 1987, and passed the bar a year later. He routinely stopped taking his medication because he thought he was cured or because he couldn't stand the side-effects. He tried to resume taking his medication in order to get a job as an attorney at a law firm, but his condition made it impossible and James became depressed. He decided to stop taking his medication, and when he committed a crime important enough, he would defend himself and prove everyone wrong.

Smith eventually got a job at a bar review preparatory school where he would grade papers. A few years later, he started stalking a woman and was arrested for it. The ADA on the case, Kincaid, took a plea bargain of harassment in the second degree, and he was sentenced to six months of probation and a $500 fine. He lost his job and went to eat at a soup kitchen for the next couple of months. During that time, a woman named Linda Bowers gave him some free samples of food out of pity and Smith started stalking her. When Smith followed her to her house, she called the police. Smith walked in circles outside, and the police arrived to take him in. Smith refused to give them his name, so the officers dropped him off at Central Park and beat him as a message to leave Bowers alone. Smith stayed away from Bowers' place, and a few weeks later, he attempted to purchase a Korean Army bayonet from a street vendor. When the vendor refused to take his soup kitchen vouchers as payment, Smith stole the bayonet.

Pro SeEdit

Smith started stalking Bowers again, and a week later, he follows Bowers into a clothing store, pulls out his bayonet, and slashes everyone inside, killing three people, including Bowers, and injuring another woman. Smith is arrested a week later in the public library for assault, after he pulls out the bayonet in an effort to resist arrest. Detectives Briscoe and Curtis interrogate Smith about the murders, but Smith just sprouts gibberish. When the surviving victim identifies him, he is officially arrested for the murders. At his arraignment, he pleads not guilty and recognizes Kincaid from his previous trial. After being remanded, Smith fires his legal aid attorney, Lowe, and files a motion to represent himself. DA McCoy argues against this, but the judge grants the motion in light of Smith's legal arguments. McCoy has Lowe stay on the case as Smith's standby counsel and Smith says that he intends to file an omnibus motion to suppress.

When the judge denies the motion, Smith changes his plea to not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. When McCoy visits Smith in jail to discuss a plea, Smith refuses, stating that the perpetrator of the murders isn't him and that he won't be punished for it. Olivet interviews Smith, whom Olivet characterizes as knowing he was a risk to others if he stopped taking medication, but didn't care. On cross-examination, Smith gets Olivet to admit that it was possible he was under duress from the side-effects of his medication and couldn't predict his future. He then casts blame on Kincaid for letting him off easy the first time. When the surviving witness takes the stand, Smith uses her rage against Kincaid to his advantage.

Smith meets with the prosecutors and Patricia, who try to insist he take a deal where he is institutionalized, so he could be supervised and has to take his medication. Smith then reveals he used this trial to prove that he would have been a great attorney, and adds that he won't accept any deal, especially since he is winning. When his sister announces that she will testify for the prosecution, Smith tries to legally block her but has no grounds. Patricia eventually takes the stand, testifying that she warned him he could hurt someone if he went off his medication, but he said they would just have to stay out of his way. Smith takes the deal offered as a result, but stopped taking his medication and hid them in a cache in his cell, heartbroken over Patricia's testimony. At his allocution, he relapses. McCoy sticks with the plea and the judge sentences him to six to eighteen years in a mental facility. McCoy tells Kincaid that Smith sent him his summation and had they proceeded to the jury, Smith could have been acquitted.

Known VictimsEdit

  • Unknown date, Princeton, New Jersey: Unnamed girlfriend (attempted to strangle)
  • New York City, New York:
    • 1994: Ms. Weinstein (stalked)
    • February 28, 1996: The clothing store murders:
      • Irving Marx
      • Linda Bowers
      • Unnamed cashier
      • Joanne Ellis (survived)

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