Judge calls flight attendant's killer a coward

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COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A judge had tough words for a man convicted of stalking and killing a flight attendant.


"I hope you never leave prison, ever," Judge Mary Stanley told Waseem Daker.

Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt was in court Monday when Stanley sentenced Daker to life in prison plus 47½ years. On Friday, he was found guilty of killing Karmen Smith.

Smith, a single mother who worked for Delta, was 30 when she was killed in 1995. Her son, 5 at the time, was also stabbed more than a dozen times, but survived.

Smith’s son, Nickolas, tearfully took the stand during the sentencing hearing, saying the ruling brings some sense of closure.

"Nothing will ever bring back my mother, and I will always be branded with his rage on my chest, but maybe now I can start anew," he said.

Meanwhile, Daker maintained his innocence.

“I did not kill Karmen Smith, and I did not stab Nick Smith," Daker said.

When he refused to sign the sentencing sheet, Stanley called him a coward.

Daker represented himself throughout trial. Prosecutors said DNA ties him to the crimes and that he was motivated by revenge.

“Waseem Daker chose to take Karmen Smith’s life and stab that 5-year-old boy,” assistant Cobb County district attorney Jesse Evans said in court.

But Daker refutes the DNA evidence. He said the evidence is flawed and actually points to someone else.

During emotional testimony earlier this month, Smith’s son described the stabbing but didn’t see enough to identify the man.

"I could kind of see when they ran past the window, but it was still really dark. I got up and walked, and fainted to the ground," Nickolas Smith said.

He said the assailant was wearing dark clothes, a mask and gloves.

A woman who lived in the spit-level home with the Smiths described the aftermath of the killing and said she wants Daker imprisoned.

"Nick kept trying to reach for me, I remember his hands -- deep gashes on his little fingers," Christine Valenti said.