Accused sex criminal wants to withdraw plea deal
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | February 12,2014
ERIC FRANCIS FILE PHOTO
Lucinda Smith, shown at a hearing last fall, wants to cancel a plea deal she struck with the state over charges that she sexually assaulted teenagers at her home.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A local woman who pleaded guilty in October to conspiring with her husband to coerce teenagers into having sex with them now wants to withdraw her plea deal.
Lucinda Smith, 42, pleaded guilty in October to two felony counts of sexual assault as part of a plea agreement. The deal was expected to result in an overall sentence of 20 years to life.
All but 12 years of the sentence were to be suspended under the deal, and Smith was to receive credit for the time she’s been jailed since the couple were arrested in July 2012.
Smith’s husband, Steven Smith, 47, reached his own plea agreement with the state last September. He, too, is expected to get an overall sentence of 20 years to life with at least five years behind bars.
Prosecutors have said they will argue for at least 15 years in prison for Steven Smith.
Lucinda Smith, in a motion written by attorney Robert Katims, is asking the court to throw out her plea deal and start over.
Katims did not spell out the reason for Smith’s decision. But he also asked the court to remove him from the case at the same time.
He said there was a potential conflict of interest in that he might be called as a witness.
Smith was not at Monday’s hearing and Judge Karen Carroll ordered a future hearing at which Smith would be present.
Deputy State’s Attorney David Cahill said after the hearing that it is too early to tell what effect Lucinda Smith’s decision to withdraw her plea might have on her husband’s pending sentencing. But he said Steven Smith and perhaps some of the victims would be compelled to testify at Lucinda Smith’s trial if she continues her stance.
The Smiths were known around White River Junction before their arrest in summer 2012 to walk around the village together clad in white and bowing to passing cars.
Their arrests came after a teenage girl and, later, a boy told investigators the couple had given them pornographic material to watch and then later enticed the teens into having sex with them.