Family members testify in first hearing for man accused of killing a Metro Schools staff member

robert smith
Posted at 7:00 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 20:01:03-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As one of the last men to see Rasheed Walker alive, Benny Walker set the scene for what he saw before and after his brother was shot.

Benny Walker said he was out taking the trash off Dr. DB Todd Jr. Boulevard when the suspect charged at him with a rifle.

“I heard steps scattering everywhere and before I could turn myself around, I saw a guy chasing my brother with a rifle and let off one shot,” Benny Walker said.

Surveillance footage from November 14 showed the suspect climbing into a waiting black four-door sedan. Benny Walker said he pulled his own legally licensed pistol and began shooting toward the car. With absolute certainty, Benny Walker said the man who killed his brother was in the courtroom on Wednesday.

Metro Nashville Police arrested Robert Smith for charges of criminal homicide in early December. It was nearly three weeks from when police first identified him as a suspect. His photo was circulated across the city through news media and soon after Smith was arrested. His attorneys say they’re certain this played a factor in Benny Walker's identification. Benny Walker argued this was a face he could not forget.

“It’s hard to forget a memory of a guy running towards me with a rifle,” Benny Walker said.

To help place Smith at the scene that night, prosecutors called Smith’s mother to testify.

“I’m here to support him, not to testify," Temicka Campbell said.

Campbell was not under subpoena, meaning she wasn’t obligated to speak. She chose to anyway, prompting Judge Lynda Jones to ask if she would like an attorney. Campbell declined and prosecutors wasted no time asking about the black sedan in the surveillance footage. Prosecutors asked Campbell if she also had a black Nissan Maxima registered in her name.

Campbell struggled to answer the question leading defense attorneys to request Campbell be assigned an attorney before answering any further questions. Judge Jones agreed and found an attorney from the gallery to represent Campbell on the spot.

After a brief recess, Campbell returned to confirm that she has had a black Nissan Maxima registered in her name. Judge Jones says she found enough probable cause to move forward with a criminal homicide case against Smith, with another hearing scheduled for mid-January.