Bel Air murder trial continues; judge denies defendant's motion to suppress testimony


The third day in the trial of Victor Colbert, who is charged with murder in the 2012 stabbing death of a Bel Air man, ended with the denial of the defendant’s motion to suppress the testimony of an expert witness.

Colbert, 36, is representing himself, having dismissed attorneys — both private and from the county’s Office of the Public Defender — in the nearly five years leading up to this week’s jury trial. Testimony began Monday in Bel Air before Harford County Circuit Court Judge M. Elizabeth Bowen.

The defendant is charged with first-degree murder and wearing and carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure in the death of 52-year-old Rodney Smith, whose body was found dead in his apartment in the 200 block of Baltimore Pike in December 2012.

Bowen denied a motion “in limine” – without the jury present — that Colbert filed in court Wednesday to suppress expert testimony regarding scientific evidence against him.

The judge said “there is an extraordinary amount of quality controls involved in these results.”

“I see absolutely no reason to prevent her from testifying,” Bowen said of the expert.

The motion was denied shortly before Bowen recessed Wednesday’s proceedings. The trial is scheduled to reconvene Thursday morning and is not expected to end until early next week.

The Bel Air Police Department investigated the homicide with support from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

Colbert, a resident of Dundalk at the time, was arrested several days after Smith’s body was found.

He has been held in the Harford County Detention Center without bail since his arrest.

Colbert’s mother and Smith’s parents have observed the trial so far, and all three were in the courtroom Wednesday. They all declined to comment after proceedings ended.

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