Crime victims are among those speaking out about how Detective Eric Smith impacted their lives. The Jackson police veteran was killed by murder suspect Jeremy Powell, who wrestled his gun away from him Thursday.
Kathy Hearn says Smith testified on behalf of her mother Diane Hearn a week ago. The trial led to the conviction of George Affleck for the murder of Diane Hearn in 2011.
Kathy Hearn says Smith guided her through the tragedy of losing her mom. It wasn't until the trial that Hearn learned what Smith did in the investigation to make sure Diane's killer was brought to justice.
Smith also provided key testimony in the trial of Jackson police Detective Nattyo Gray, who was convicted in the death of his daughter in February. Smith was set to testify this week in the trial of two men accused of murdering a Jackson convenience store clerk.
Those who knew Det. Eric Smith have nothing but the highest praise for him as an individual and a police officer.
Smith was usually the homicide detective selected to appear in court as a representative of Jackson police in murder cases. Jackson Chief of Police Rebecca Coleman said she even tried to promote him.
"I tried to get him to move into a supervisory position, an active supervisory position in robbery homicide. And respectfully, he turned me down and told me the reason he didn't want to do that was because he enjoyed being just a detective and being able to go out and help solve the homicides that occurred in the city," Coleman said Friday.
Clinton Athletic Director Clay Norton and head football coach Judd Boswell said Smith was an ideal parent to his two sons, who both played sports at Clinton High School. They said he was a pillar of the community and a great contributor to the programs of Clinton High School.
Smith has been on the force since 1995. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from when he graduated from Callaway High School in 1990 to 1994.
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