By 2008, Smith had earned a couple of drug charges and second-degree assault cases. The fearsome reputation police would hang on Smith in court-which was crucial to the case against him-was, at the time, nowhere in his criminal record. Another thing that prosecutors would keep from the jury: Smith "has the mind of a 16-year-old," one of his lawyers told me later. Another lawyer described him as having "an intellectual deficit." Even George Smith tried to make it clear that his son was not the drug lord depicted by the state. During a break in the trial, I had asked why his son, the apparent boss of the block, did not know who pulled the trigger. "Oh, Demetrius doesn't have that kind of influence," Smith said. "If it was me, maybe. But not Demetrius. He's just a kid. In more ways than one."