In August, 2011, Terrinita Smith received news that any parent would dread.
The loss of a child.
To further add to Smith's dilemma, she was on the other side of the world, the still-enlisted Army soldier in the midst of a year-long deployment in the Middle East when the news came
in the form of a letter.
"The person who gave it to me was shaking the entire time," Smith told News Center 11 Reporter Darryl Lewis early Wednesday at Fairbanks Superior Court downtown. "They were very
reluctant to give it to me, because they already knew what had happened."
The loss was shocking in its own right. How it happened further added to her pain. Her first-born son Malik Moore, shot multiple times in Fairbanks.
Smith served a three year stint at Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks from 2005-2008, and had since transferred to Fort Hood, Texas.
Earlier this week, she arrived back in the Fairbanks area, seeking justice for her son.
"None of my immediate family could afford to come to Fairbanks for the trial, be away from work, plane fare," says Smith. "But I'm here."
20 year old Jacques Lisbey is charged with First Degree Murder and Tampering With Physical Evidence in the death of Moore.
Authorities say the two men were friends, and that the shooting transpired over an alleged dispute involving a female acquaintance.
Trial in State v. Lisbey technically began Tuesday in front of Judge Robert Downes.
Attorneys on both sides hammering through last minute pre-trial issues.
Jury selection began Wednesday morning, and jurors are expected to get the case next week after at least seven days of witness testimony and other proceedings.
And sitting in the gallery nearby, Terrinita Smith, after almost two years, is finally getting the opportunity to lay eyes on the man she says is at the center of her pain.
"This is the first time I've ever seen him," said Smith.
If convicted, Lisbey faces a maximum life prison sentence, without the possibility of parole.