The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

October 9, 2013

Man accused of January homicide claims self-defense; trial date set

ANDERSON — The man accused of pulling the trigger in a Jan. 29 homicide has filed a claim of self-defense.

On Monday, a date of Nov. 12 was also set for the trial of Malcolm D. Cobb Jr., 46, who is charged with the killing of Spencer Smith. Brothers Joshua, 23, and Jonathan Wood, 20, are co-defendants in the case with Cobb.

According to police reports of the incident in Lapel on Jan. 29, the four men were using drugs and drinking in Smith’s living room Jan. 28, when Cobb confronted the 22-year-old Smith with an allegation of rape, which he denied.

Cobb persisted with his claim, holding a knife at Smith’s throat. Joshua Wood told Cobb to stop. When the older man pointed the knife at him, Joshua went outside.

That’s when events turned deadly.

Smith got up from the sofa where he was sitting and went into his bedroom. Cobb followed. He allegedly pulled out a handgun, ordered Smith to open a safe in the closet and then shot him in the shoulder, according to a statement Jonathon made to investigators.

When Smith stood up despite the wound, Cobb shot him four more times, according to the affidavit.

After that, Cobb and Jonathon Wood allegedly took a shotgun, .45-caliber handgun, ammunition and the safe to the apartment of female friends in Anderson. They were joined by Joshua Woods, according to court documents.

The group couldn’t open the safe, and called another person to help.

Cobb’s self-defense story was allegedly concocted while the group was still in Anderson. They returned to the duplex in the 6400 block of West County Road 300 South in Stony Creek Township where Cobb called 911 and reported the shooting.

Deputy prosecutor Bob Summerfield, who is trying the case, said he believes the events in the affidavit are accurate. He said he wasn't able to discuss much about the upcoming case, but he indicated the focus of the trial will be on Cobb and proving he pulled the trigger.

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