Victim testifies about Walmart attack

Published 9:13 am Wednesday, April 27, 2011

FRANKLIN—Oliver Smith testified Monday he was stunned when a Franklin man struck him in the back of the head with a souvenir-sized baseball bat in the Walmart parking lot two days after Christmas.


During a preliminary hearing in Franklin General District Court for suspect Khalid El-Amin Muhammed, Smith said he struggled to stay on his feet during the attack on Dec. 27. The Southampton County man also told the court he was hit six or seven times before the bat broke and Muhammed ran.

“It was just an out-of-control situation,” Smith said.

Testimony from Smith and his wife, Karen, who was also allegedly attacked by Muhammed, provided enough evidence for Judge Parker Councill to send the felony case to Southampton County Circuit Court.

Karen Smith testified she was hit in the back as she used her purse to defend her husband during the attack.

“I jumped in so he wouldn’t hit him anymore,” she said.

She said she was hit in the back with the bat before the suspect went after her husband again. Karen Smith said she was not positive how many times she was hit, but her husband required four staples to close up the gash on his head.

Oliver Smith testified that he accused Muhammad of skipping in front of him in the checkout line inside the Armory Drive store. Smith told the judge he said “hey cowboy” to Muhammad, who was dressed in coveralls and a cowboy hat, before telling him to “get back to the end of the line.”

Smith testified that he apologized when Muhammad told him that he hadn’t skipped in line.

Muhammad’s attorney Warren Kozak accused Oliver Smith of starting the confrontation and called it a big misunderstanding. He said his client has no criminal history.

Karen Smith testified that Muhammad was wearing coveralls and a cowboy hat while in the store, but said he removed the hat and was wearing a jogging suit at the time of the attack.

Muhammad was convicted of an assault and battery charge related to the attack on Karen Smith. Kozak said his client would appeal the previous conviction.