Jury deliberations begin in trial of felon accused of stabbing man in Lake Elsinore

BANNING – Jury deliberations got underway yesterday in the trial of a probationer accused of stabbing a man during a confrontation in Lake Elsinore.

Christopher David Smith, 38, could face more than 12 years in state prison if convicted of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon resulting in great bodily injury.

The jury got the case after a three-day trial at the Banning Justice Center. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jorge Hernandez directed them to return Thursday morning to resume  deliberations.

Smith, who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, was arrested shortly after the May 22 stabbing near the intersection of Buena Vista Street and Grand Avenue. According to sheriff’s Sgt. Joaquin Casanas, the defendant and victim, whose name was not released, got into an argument for undisclosed reasons, and Smith allegedly pulled a knife and plunged it into the man’s left forearm about 7:30 a.m.

The defendant fled the scene as witnesses called 911, Casanas said. Deputies arrived moments later and spotted him walking eastbound on Buena Vista, near Glenetta Way, where he was taken into custody without a struggle.

The victim was transported to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, where he underwent surgery. He has since recovered.

According to court records, Smith has two prior convictions for receiving stolen property.

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