The Captain of Deceit Strikes Again

Richard Scheff still can't get the story of the Frank Lee Smith case straight -- and he doesn't seem to care

Scheff at least admitted to Keen that he had made incorrect assumptions in Smith's case. Outside the courtroom, however, he brought up another dubious theory designed to explain the failure of the justice system: Smith might have been at Whitehead's house and tried to steal a TV set right after Mosley killed her. "If that is true," Scheff said, "it certainly bodes well for me. But for that to have occurred, it would have had to be a huge coincidence, so I'm uncomfortable with it."

But later, as I followed Scheff down the hall to the courthouse elevator, he told me, "[Smith] had to have been there." He didn't elaborate. Then Scheff said of his investigation of Smith: "I stepped on my dick and made a mistake."

If Scheff's railroading of Smith wasn't intentional, it was certainly an auspicious mistake: The Smith arrest won Scheff "Deputy of the Month" honors and began his fast climb up the BSO ladder. Sheriff Jenne apparently has forgiven Scheff his mistakes -- he promoted him to commander of countywide operations just last year.

In court last week, prosecutor Charles Morton (pictured) handed Capt. Scheff more rope with which to hang the deceased -- and innocent -- Smith
Colby Katz
In court last week, prosecutor Charles Morton (pictured) handed Capt. Scheff more rope with which to hang the deceased -- and innocent -- Smith

So Scheff has apparently overcome his shameful past. It's a crime that he wouldn't let Smith do the same.

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