Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2016 11:18 PM
To: victorerodriguez@****.net
Subject: Allegations in Lanny Smith Appeal

Mr. Rodriguez, my name is William Grigg, and I'm an freelance reporter and
contributor to several media platforms, including the Free Thought Project.
Assuming that I've located the correct Victor Rodriguez, I would be interested
in getting your reaction to a number of allegations made in an appeal filed in
August on behalf of Lanny Smith, who was convicted of murdering Mary and
Leo Downard in 1992.
The most serious allegations, in my view, are those made by James Swogger,
a "jailhouse snitch" who testified against Smith during his trial twenty years
ago. It's a matter of record that Swogger recanted his initial claims about
Smith confessing to the murder (and supposedly to an act of postmortem
rape), then retracted his recantation prior to the trial. He has since
repudiated his trial testimony.
According to the appellate brief, Swogger "wrote directly to Rodriguez, who
filled him with details of the crimes" (pg. 109, citing several appendices to
which I've not yet had access). The brief also makes this claim:
"After interviewing with Rodriguez several times, Swogger decided he did not
want to testify. However, Rodriguez and the prosecutors told him that if he
did not testify against Lanny, he would be prosecuted for the same crime as
Lanny and would face the same potential sentence (death) as Lanny.
Because he was afraid and believed he would be charged and punished, he
testified against Lanny." (Ibid.)
Is there any truth to either of those assertions by Swogger? My
understanding is that he is presently incarcerated in Oregon, and therefore
his effective admission of perjury is against his interest, or at the very least
would not be to his benefit.
In pages 86-89 of the brief, there are several claims regarding your
testimony about Jeffrey Lynn Smith. This is based on what appears to be
Brady-relevant tardy disclosures by the Bonneville County Prosecutor's Office
of your October 1993 recommendation that Jeff Smith be charged with
statutory rape, and a sizeable file of police reports describing serial acts of
sexual assault, kidnapping, murder threats, and other violent behavior on his
part, all of which you either minimized or apparently denied during your trial
testimony (when asked if you regarded Smith as dangerous, your reply was:
"I don't believe so").

The appellate brief contends that if the reports and your recommendation to
the prosecutor had been provided in timely fashion to the defense, this
would have "impeached" your trial testimony, that you were "very well aware
of Jeff's continuing criminal activities and dangerousness," and that
presenting this information "would have cut Rodriguez's credibility to the
How do you account for the documented discrepancy between your official
assessment of Jeff Smith's criminal inclinations, and your anodyne
description of him in sworn testimony?
Elsewhere in the brief it is noted that Jeff Smith, in his grand jury testimony,
repeatedly said he wore a size 8 1/2 tennis shoe, but changed his testimony
after you coached him during recess; and that you similarly coached Beverly
Huffaker in order to overcome discrepancies in her testimony (which tied the
self-incriminating comments allegedly made to her by Lanny Smith to a trip
she and her son had made to Nevada about a month before the murder).
Could you respond to those claims?
I would greatly appreciate hearing your responses to these question.
Will Grigg

"If you can't do something smart, do something right." -Derrial Book (b. Henry Evans)