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Guilty Verdict in Cobb Murder

Waseem Daker was convicted Friday in the 1995 strangling death of a flight attendant in her home.

Waseem Daker, who earlier this month went on trial for a murder that took place in East Cobb 17 years ago, was convicted of the killing on Friday. 

A Cobb Superior Court jury found Daker guilty of strangling Delta flight attendant Karmen Smith and stabbling her young son, as well as nine other felony counts, including burglary, false imprisonment, aggravated assault and aggravated stalking.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the jury returned its verdict around 2:40 p.m. Friday, with Smith's family members present. Their deliberations began around 10 a.m. Friday. 

Daker, 35, was convicted in 1996 of stalking Lottie Spencer Blatz, who owned the home where Smith and her son lived. He was released from prison in 2005.

He acted as his own attorney in his second trial, which included emotional testimony from Nicholas Smith, now 22, but then a five-year-old student at Timber Ridge Elementary School. He survived being stabbed 16 times on Oct. 23, 1995, the day his mother was killed. 

Blatz also testified during the trial, recalling that she moved from a Roswell apartment earlier in 1995 and into a home on Old Hunters Trace, in the Johnson Ferry/Sewell Mill Road area, to get away from Daker. 

The case against Daker involving Karmen Smith went cold until 2009, when tests showed hairs found on her body that matched his DNA. 

Upon his arrest, police found that Daker, a Georgia Tech student at the time, was in possession of several "how to kill" books.

His murder trial was to have begun in February, but he received a continuance after hiring new attorneys who were eventually dismissed. Daker claimed during the trial that the DNA evidence was flawed.

Said Jim Horan, Karmen Smith's uncle, "She was taken from us too soon by a savage monster. We know today is not a great day for our family -- it is just another day without our sister, mom, our daughter Karmen. We miss her every day and are glad that justice has been done."

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