Waseem Daker insisted he was wrongly convicted Monday morning just before he was sentenced to the maximum punishment of life plus 47 years in prison for the brutal 1995 slaying of a Delta flight attendant and a nearly fatal attack on her then-5-year-old son.
“I did not kill Karmen Smith. I did not stab Nick Smith,” Daker told Superior Court Judge Mary Staley. “I hope that one day the truth comes out, because this is not it.”
Staley would have none of it. In handing down her sentence, she described Daker as a master manipulator, and said that when given a chance he had done “untold evil.”
Daker was convicted of stabbing Karmen Smith in the back with a screwdriver or ice pick and strangling her with a rope on Oct. 23, 1995. He then waited for almost four hours for her then 5-year-old son, Nick, to return home from school.
When the boy walked into the basement apartment in Marietta, Daker snatched him up and stabbed him 16 to 18 times before fleeing the scene. Nick Smith survived.
Prosecutors said Daker killed Karmen Smith and attacked her son because he was obsessed with her upstairs neighbor, Lottie Spencer Blatz. Daker was convicted of stalking Blatz in 1996. Authorities had long suspected Daker of killing Smith, however they were unable to connect him to the slaying until a new DNA testing of hairs found on the body matched Daker in 2009.
Prior to the sentencing, Nickolas Smith, now 22 and a college graduate, testified about the impact that Daker had on his life. He said Daker’s conviction will finally allow him to move on from being the sad, scared little boy that he once was.
“When Waseem Daker took my mom’s life and stabbed me, my life was put on hold and in my eyes its always been in his hands,” Smith said, his voice straining and rising high with emotion. “Nothing will ever bring back my mother and I will always be branded with his rage on my chest. But now, I can start anew.”