A 17-year-old murder case has brought a convicted stalker face-to-face in a Georgia courtroom with the woman he harassed. He is now on trial, accused of killing her roommate as an act of revenge for reporting him to police.
Waseem Daker spent nearly 10 years in jail for stalking Loretta Spencer Blatz. The two met on a paintball team in 1995, and he refused to take a hint, calling her at all hours, showing up at her home, refusing to leave, and even breaking into her home.
Daker was convicted in 1996. But before he went to jail, Blatz’s roommate, Karmen Smith, was found strangled to death in the home she and Blatz shared. Smith was a Delta flight attendant, and lived at the home with her five-year-old son. The boy was stabbed multiple times during the attack, but survived.
Police long suspected Daker was responsible for the attack, but they weren’t able to connect Daker to the murder until 2009 — three years after he was released on the stalking conviction. Police now had the power of DNA tests: they announced that hairs found on Smith’s body put Daker at the scene of her murder.
At court in Marietta, Ga., Daker has dismissed his court-appointed lawyers and is now acting as his own counsel. That’s made for awkward and emotional witness questioning. Loretta Spencer Blatz was grilled on the witness stand by the man she helped put away. She was, at times, overcome with emotion.
In court last Friday, when Daker asked the judge to label her testimony “inappropriate,” Blatz fought back.
“Well, you know, it’s really inappropriate that you stalk me and harass me, and you’re sitting here asking me questions, and I have to come back with you and answer your questions, that’s hard for me!”
“I didn’t realize this was going to turn into murder,” she said. “My God, I mean, if I would have known I would have taken notes.”
Daker has argued in court that he and Blatz were a couple and that he had no reason to come after her roommate and her roommate’s son. He’s pleaded not guilty.
But on Monday, Blatz’s former fiancée testified Daker continued to threaten her and show up unannounced even after she filed a restraining order.
This week, the five-year-old boy who survived the stabbings is expected to testify. Nick Smith, the son of Blatz’s former roommate, is now a grown man in his early 20s.