A Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge has ordered Dale Smith to answer pointed questions regarding his life leading up to the disappearance of his ex-fiancee Michelle Parker.
- Wrongful death suit against Dale Smith, ex-fiancé of Michelle Parker
- Parker disappeared in 2011; remains never found
- Smith still prime suspect, never arrested
- TIMELINE: Michelle Parker Search ▼
Michelle Parker was 33 when she disappeared in November of 2011 after appearing on The People’s Court TV show with her former fiancé, Dale Smith. Their disagreement was over the couple's engagement ring.
According to Smith’s attorneys, Smith remains a prime suspect in her disappearance but has never been charged. Parker’s remains have never been found.
The Parker family is now suing Smith in a wrongful death suit. Their attorney, former Judge Belvin Perry, recently deposed Smith. During that deposition, Smith refused to answer more than 100 of the 491 asked.
“[Smith] talks about things that he wants to talk about. Then if he halfway feels it will lead to discoverable evidence then he clams up!” Attorney Perry said during the hearing.
Although the deposition has not been released for public record yet, several questions were discussed. Many focused on Smith’s history of violence in alleged domestic disputes with his first wife, who is now dead.
Others focused on Parker and whether Smith is aware of her whereabouts’ leading up to her disappearance.
“I’m more concerned with how even innocent statements can be manipulated,” Steve Calvacca, Dale Smith’s attorney explained.
Calvacca said this civil case -- arguing Smith is responsible for her wrongful death -- can’t be a witch hunt.
“It’s like he’s damned if he does, he’s damned if he don’t,” Calvacca said.
Although several questions were probing and personal, the judge said Smith will have to answer some of them.
That decision came as a relief to the Parker family. In the end, Parker’s family says they want more answers and the ability to see her grandchildren.
"This is not to do anything to sully Mr. Smith. Mrs. Stewart wants to see her grandbabies. She wants to have a relationship with her grandchildren. To her, that's the most important thing," Perry said as Parker’s mother, Yvonne Stewart cried.
Last year, Florida legislators passed a law inspired by the Parkers which allows grandparent to ask a judge for visitation, but they are still working on getting visitation.