Sunday, May 10, 2015

Senator Virgil Smith - Detroit - Arrested for shooting at ex-wife & shooting her car - 05/10/2015


On May 10, 2015, Senator Virgil Smith [Detroit], was arrested by the Detroit PD for shooting at his ex-wife and shooting her vehicle. Smith's ex-wife was not injured. However, the Senator put approximately 10 rounds into her vehicle. One of the Senator's neighbors reported hearing about 30 rounds being fired from a gun that sounded like an oozie. 





Image result for AR-15
"A fight ensued and continued outside the home where Smith is said to have pointed an AR-15 at her and then shot more than 20 rounds at her car ..."






After Senator Virgil Smith's arrest, Detroit Police Chief James Craig refused to name the shooter. He only told the media, that "someone" fired a shotgun at a car parked outside the home of state Senator Virgil Smith. Chief Craig also failed to mention that Senator Smith's ex-wife had been shot at.



Apparently, the Detroit PD doesn't like to talk about OIDV. We all recall the recent shooting death of Terrance Kellom by Detroit ICE officer Mitchell Quinn. Detroit PD claimed that Officer Quinn "was a decorated 12-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department". Detroit PD didn't mention Officer Quinn's 2008 arrest and felony criminal charges when  Quinn pointed his loaded duty gun at his ex-wife's head. The media and government officials/ agencies found the Detroit Police Commission minutes for Quinn's 2008 OIDV arrest and charges here on MIOIDV.


"Someone"
 ...originally arrested for assault with intent to commit murder and aggravated assault









Related OIDV case:
In April 2001, Senator David Jaye was arrested for domestic violence. On May 24, 2001 Senator David Jaye was ousted from the Michigan Senate. It was the first time in Michigan history that a senator had been ousted.














Smith resigns from Senate 3 days after going to jail
Jonathan Oosting - Detroit News Lansing Bureau 
March 31, 2016 - 8:21 p.m. EDT 



Lansing — State Sen. Virgil Smith tendered his letter of resignation Thursday, three days after the Detroit Democrat began a 10-month jail sentence for shooting up his ex-wife’s car.

The Senate Business Office received Smith’s letter at about 12:50 p.m., said Amber McCann, a spokeswoman for Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive.

The letter of resignation, which will become official when the Senate returns to session on April 12, was one sentence long: “I resign as Senator of the 4th District.”

Smith’s attorney, Godfrey Dillard, called Meekhof’s office earlier in the week with a heads-up on the pending resignation.

“It’s good to have resolution to this issue,” McCann said Thursday. “It has gone on a little longer than the majority leader expected, but ultimately a voluntary resignation was the next logical step. The majority leader is glad to put the issue to rest.”

Smith was arrested in May 2015. He went to jail Monday after pleading guilty to malicious destruction for shooting at his ex-wife’s Mercedes-Benz during a May 2015 dispute.

He earned $71,685 a year as a state senator and was not legally obligated to resign despite his incarceration. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy negotiated a plea deal that required Smith to resign but Judge Lawrence Talon declined to enforce the provision. A spokewoman said Thursday that Worthy still plans to appeal the ruling.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will eventually call a special election to fill the vacant seat for the remainder of Smith’s term, which runs through 2018. Snyder will set the dates for both the primary and general election.

“It’s totally at the discretion of the governor about when to do that,” said Fred Woodhams, a spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office.

Former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, who challenged Smith in 2014 but narrowly lost to him in the Democratic primary, surprised political observers Thursday by announcing she will not run for his seat if a special election is called this year.

Tlaib issued a statement saying she believes she would be well-positioned to run a successful campaign but thinks her job at the Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice “is the best way” for her to defend the southwest Detroit community.

“This was a very difficult decision to make, but at this moment it is in the best interest of my family and current commitments,” she said.

Smith is a Democrat who sided with Republicans on some key votes in recent years. With his departure, Republicans will have 27 members in the Senate compared with 10 Democrats.

Smith served in the state House from 2002-08 and won election to the Senate in 2010 and 2014. His father, Virgil C. Smith, also served in the Legislature and is now a Wayne County Circuit Court judge.

Meekhof said last week he expected Smith to step down. If it had not happened, Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, said Friday he would vote to expel Smith from the Legislature.

“I think there is no scenario where a person serving in jail serves in the Michigan Senate,” Ananich said during a taping of WKAR-TV’s “Off The Record.”

Smith’s resignation will become official when his letter is read into the Senate Journal in April.













Sen. Virgil Smith expected to resign by Friday
Jonathan Oosting - Detroit News Lansing Bureau
March 30, 2016 - 5:14 p.m. EDT
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2016/03/30/senator-virgil-smith-resign/82442798/


Lansing — State Sen. Virgil Smith, serving a 10-month jail sentence after shooting up his ex-wife’s car, is expected to tender his resignation by Friday, according to Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof’s office.

Smith’s attorney Godfrey Dillard called the Senate on Wednesday afternoon and announced the Detroit Democrat’s pending resignation, Meekhof spokeswoman Amber McCann told The Detroit News.

“The majority leader had always understood that Sen. Smith would voluntarily resign if he went to jail,” McCann said. “This spares the Senate from expulsion proceedings and resolves the issue for constituents of the 4th Senate District.”

Dillard could not immediately be reached for comment.

Smith, D-Detroit, went to jail on Monday after pleading guilty to malicious destruction for shooting at his ex-wife’s Mercedez Benz during a May 2015 dispute.

He earns $71,685 a year as a state senator and was not legally obligated to resign despite incarceration.

Meekhof, R-West Olive, said last week he expected Smith to step down. If it did not happen, Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, said Friday he would vote to expel Smith from the Legislature.

“I think there is no scenario where a person serving in jail serves in the Michigan Senate,” Ananich said during a taping of WKAR-TV’s “Off The Record.”

In order to resign, Smith would have to submit a written letter of resignation to Senate Secretary Jeff Cobb. McCann said the letter would be read into the official Senate Journal when the Legislature returns to session April 12.

Smith’s original plea deal with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy had required him to leave office, but Wayne County Judge Lawrence Talon said he would not enforce that portion.

Smith’s ex-wife, Anistia Thomas, allegedly confronted him after she went to his eastside home in the 18000 block of Wexford and found another woman, naked, in his bed. A fight ensued and continued outside the home where Smith is said to have pointed an AR-15 at her and then shot more than 20 rounds at her car.













Sen. Virgil Smith goes directly to jail, collects $71K
Elisha Anderson and Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau
1:46 p.m. EDT March 29, 2016
http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2016/03/28/state-sen-virgil-smith-hearing/82346318/



State Sen. Virgil Smith started serving his 10-month jail sentence today as punishment for shooting his ex-wife’s Mercedes-Benz, but he never resigned from his job as a legislator.

So, he will continue to receive his $71,685 annual salary plus benefits while serving time behind bars.

Smith, 36, D-Detroit, had agreed to resign from his job as part of a plea deal in the case, but then a judge said he didn’t have authority to impose that as a condition of sentence and took it out of the agreement.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Lawrence Talon said earlier this month that Smith could be expelled, voted out of office or resign, but requiring him to step down violates the state constitution.

Prosecutors then asked for the plea deal to be voided — and the case scheduled for trial — since Smith didn’t comply with the terms of the agreement.

During today’s hearing, Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey argued that prosecutors should be able to retool their offer in the case.


But Talon rejected the prosecution's request, saying "vacating the plea bargain would not serve the interests of justice.”

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office vowed to appeal today's decision.

"We believe that the law supports that the agreement remains conditional until all the terms of the agreement are fulfilled," Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the office, said in a statement issued after the hearing.  "Prosecutor (Kym) Worthy will appeal the court’s ruling because the defendant did not fulfill his part of the plea agreement by resigning his elected position."

Smith pleaded guilty to a felony count of malicious destruction of personal property of $20,000 or more in connection with the incident outside his home on Wexford last May and on March 14 was sentenced to 10 months in jail with no early release.

His attorney, Godfrey Dillard, asked the court not to vacate the agreement.

"I’m asking the court to let it stand, allow the senator to stand on principle, stand against what we view is excessive power by the prosecutor,” Dillard said.

Lindsey fired back, saying Dillard was part of the discussionsand said he repeatedly indicated this is what he wanted to do.

“If I was on the street, I’d say counsel is talking out of both sides of his neck," she said.

Before Smith was escorted out of the courtroom by deputies to begin his sentence in the Wayne County Jail, his father, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Virgil C. Smith, asked permission to give his son a hug.

“I guess my response to that is that I must treat him the same way that I treat everyone else in this position,” Talon responded, before saying "no."

Dillard refused to answer questions from reporters as he left the courtroom, including why his client has decided not to resign from office.

Other state lawmakers have spent a night or two in jail after being arrested for things like drunk driving, but Smith is setting a new precedent, serving as both a state senator and a lengthy sentence, a political expert said.

“The idea of someone serving while being convicted and sentenced on a felony charge, it’s never happened in Michigan,” said Bill Ballenger, a former state Senator and editor of the Ballenger Report, a political newsletter.

Amber McCann, spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, said Smith told Meekhof on Friday that he intends to resign when he begins a jail sentence.

“The resignation has never been based on a plea deal, but rather on the understanding that Sen. Smith cannot serve his constituents while he’s serving time in jail,” she said.

If he doesn’t resign, then expulsion hearings could begin when the Legislature returns from a two-week spring break on April 12.

Any member of the Senate can introduce a resolution asking for the expulsion of another member.

“And it would be up to the Majority Leader’s discretion on how that would proceed,” McCann said.

Until that happens, Smith would continue to receive his salary and benefits.

As part of the deal that was reached in the case, Smith also must serve five years of probation, stay away from alcohol, comply with mental health treatment and not have contact with his ex-wife, Anistia Thomas.

Smith previously told investigators the shots were fired after Thomas pushed her way into his house and attempted to attack a woman in his bed. Thomas, who was in court today, has said Smith punched her and rammed her head into the floor and wall when she was inside his home.

According to information presented in the case, Smith suffers from bipolar depressive hypomanic disorder, had been in car accident in 2014 that caused a traumatic brain injury and was recently treated for alcohol dependency.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss three felonies at part of the plea deal, including a count of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony, which carries a mandatory two-year prison sentence, and a misdemeanor count of domestic violence.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, said on Friday an expulsion hearing will have to happen if Smith doesn’t resign.

Ananich said he asked Smith to resign when he was first arrested, “But the legal process was important to play out. I don’t think it was appropriate for us to have a parallel investigation going on at the same time.”

Only four lawmakers have been expelled from the Michigan Legislature: Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, who was expelled in September after getting caught up in a sex scandal and bizarre cover-up that also forced the resignation of Rep. Todd Courser, R-Lapeer; Sen. David Jaye, R- Washington Township, in 2001 after three drunken driving convictions and claims that the lawmaker assaulted his fiancée; Rep. Monte Geralds, D-Madison Heights, in 1978, after an embezzling conviction; and Rep. Milo Dakin of Saginaw in 1887 after he was accused of attempting to bribe his colleagues over changes to the Saginaw city charter.













State Sen. Smith gets 10 months for attack on ex-wife
Oralandar Brand-Williams - The Detroit News
March 15, 2016 - 8:13 a.m. EDT
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2016/03/14/virgil-smith-plea-deal-legislature/81780442/


State Sen. Virgil Smith Jr. was sentenced Monday to 10 months in the Wayne County Jail and five years of probation in a plea agreement to charges he shot at his ex-wife’s car.

But the judge’s ruling could be in jeopardy over whether he will be forced from office.

Wayne County Judge Lawrence Talon said he can’t enforce a provision in the agreement that Smith would be forced to leave the Legislature as part of his punishment for firing up to 20 shots at his ex-wife ’s car.

However, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said if Talon doesn’t accept the resignation she will pull the full agreement off the table, potentially exposing Smith to a harsher sentence.

Talon said Monday Smith was not constitutionally required to resign from office adding that decision “belongs to his constituents.”

Talon explained that the crime Smith is accused of did not involve his public office. He said forcing Smith out would be illegal for him to enforce, according to his interpretation of the Michigan Constitution.

“You do not have to resign from the Senate,” Talon told Smith.

Worthy’s office says it has been ordered to file a brief with their legal objection by March 21. “The plea is legal, and the defendant agreed to it,” Worthy said. “If all the conditions are not accepted by the court we will withdraw our plea. We are certain that we stand on solid legal ground.”

Talon scheduled a hearing for March 28 to sort it out.

Meanwhile, Smith’s colleagues called for him step down.

Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel on Monday said: “With Senator Smith pleading guilty to this terrible crime, now is the time for Democratic leadership in Michigan to step up and do the right thing. Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich should call for Smith’s resignation. His behavior is appalling, and the residents in his district deserve better. ... They deserve effective representation in Lansing, and it is clear Smith can no longer fulfill that duty.”

A spokeswoman for the the state Senate Democrats said they “remain committed to making sure the people of the 4th Senate District are getting the services they deserve while the legal process plays out.”

As part of his sentencing, Smith also must undergo drug and alcohol treatment. He holds a medical marijuana card, according to his attorney, and the issue of whether he gets to keep it during his probation will be addressed later between Talon, Smith’s attorneys and prosecutors.

The state lawmaker appeared morose and kept his head down during most of the hearing as his father, Wayne County Judge Virgil Smith and others painfully looked on.

“He’s being held accountable,” Smith’s lawyer, Godfrey Dillard, said. “His political career is destroyed.”

Smith was allowed to plead guilty to malicious destruction of property greater than $20,000 for allegedly firing shots at his ex-wife’s Mercedes Benz in May 2015. The charge, a felony, carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Charges of felonious assault, felony firearm and domestic violence will be dropped.

Smith, 36, did not speak during the sentencing hearing but wiped tears from his eyes after Anistia Thomas, Smith’s ex-wife, spoke about losing the “love of my life” and receiving over 18 bruises, a busted lip and swollen jaw after the early morning fight when she went to Smith’s eastside home and found another woman, naked, in his bed.

After Smith and Thomas allegedly tussled inside the home and on the porch, Smith is said to have pointed an AR-15 at her and then shot at her car. The weapon was surrendered to police as part of the plea deal.

More than 20 rounds were fired into Thomas’ vehicle during the incident at his home in the 18000 block of Wexford.

Thomas spoke tearfully about the incident saying she has suffered physical and emotional pains. She told Talon that Smith “hunted” her down and shot at her car.

“It pains me that it has come to this,” Thomas said. “I hope God spares his soul.”

Smith had been scheduled to go to trial March 7.

Under additional terms of the plea offer, Smith would be prohibited from holding elective office or being appointed to an office while on probation. He also would have to submit to a mental health evaluation and surrender the gun as part of the plea agreement.













Sen. Virgil Smith to stand trial for shooting at ex-wife
George Hunter - The Detroit News
June 25, 2015 - 3:42 p.m. EDT
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2015/06/25/virgil-smith/29264031/

Detroit — A judge ruled Thursday that state Sen. Virgil Smith will stand trial for allegedly beating his ex-wife and shooting at her with an assault rifle, and riddling her car with bullets, after she showed up at his house and found a naked woman in his bed.

36th District Court Judge Michael Wagner rejected the argument by Smith's attorney Godfrey Dillard, who invoked the Castle Doctrine and insisted his client had a right to protect himself against potential harm inside his home.

"So are you suggesting if someone has an argument with someone at their home, that a person can grab a gun and start shooting?" Wagner said before binding the case over for trial.

Wagner also pointed out that Smith let the ex-wife into his house. "Those are not the actions of someone who feels he's in danger," he said."

Five witnesses testified in the hearing, that was marked by numerous objections, and admonishments from the judge to onlookers in the courtroom who made comments,

Smith's ex-wife, Anistia Thomas, who said she continued an intimate relationship with Smith after their brief marriage ended, described the alleged encounter..

"I went to his bedroom window, because I noticed that it was open. I knocked on the window, and I say 'Kai' (Smith's middle name)," Thomas said. "Then he comes to the window … he meets me at the side door. He opens the door; he lets me in.

"He said 'Tatiana's here,' " Smith said, referring to Smith's girlfriend, Tatiana Grant. "I walked into the bedroom; I see Tatiana in the bed. I went up to the bed, I ask her if they are sleeping together. She sat up and she said, 'no.'

"I snatched the sheet off of her. (I saw) that she was naked. At that point, Kai grabbed me … we get into an altercation.

"He pulls on me … we wrestle … he punches me in the face a few times. After falling into the TV, he rams my head into the floor. After that, he puts his right arm into the back of my neck. It basically stopped my breathing at that point. He said he'd let me up if I leave.

"He kept punching me throughout my body. I stumble up trying to leave … he literally rams my head into the wall. My face hit the wall. I fall down. Then he takes my arms again … he continues to force me, and beats me down the hallway.

"He opens the screen door and pushes me out. I fall over the railing and then my face hit the concrete. I go to the front of the house. I pick up a wicker chair and throw it.

"He comes out from the side door. I see him holding a big gun in the air."

Thomas said the gun was an AR-15, which he kept under his bed.

"He starts shooting in the air. He turns it toward me and starts shooting at me," Thomas said.

Smith, 35, has been charged with felonious assault, malicious destruction of personal property $20,000 or more, domestic violence assault and battery, and felony firearm after he allegedly shot up his ex-wife's Mercedes-Benz after an argument outside his Detroit house.

Thomas said she ran to the nearby house of Smith's friend, Carlos Cade. She said Cade let her in to clean up, and use his girlfriend's cell phone to dial 911.

But when Cade heard Thomas mention Smith's name to the 911 operator, he testified, he snatched the phone from her, hung it up, and kicked her out of the house. Thomas corroborated that during her testimony.

Assistant Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey asked Cade whether Thomas was trying to call police, to which Dillard said, ""Objection. 911 is not the police."

Judge Michael Wagner quipped: "Who is it?" eliciting chuckles throughout the courtroom.

Lindsey asked Cade: "Sir, in your common sense, when you call 911, are you calling the Domino's pizza delivery?"

Grant, who was in Smith's bed when Thomas entered the bedroom, testified she was afraid Thomas would attack her.

"I have no doubt in my mind, she would've tried to fight me," Grant said, but she said Smith held Grant back.

"He was trying to restrain her; keep her from me," she said. "She was trying to get to me, and the two of them fell."

"She was yelling things like 'He doesn't care about you. He doesn't love you,'" Grant said.

Grant said Smith carried Thomas from the room, then returned a moment later and retrieved his gun. Grant said she didn't see him grab the gun, but heard it hit against the bed frame.

Grant said she heard four gunshots. "All I could see through the window blinds was like lightning," she said.

Michael White, who lives across the street from Smith, also testified.

"I was on the couch asleep," White said. "I woke up; it sounded like somebody running. Heard shots – boom! boom! boom! boom! boom! – then I hit the floor."

Smith, a Democrat who represents Detroit in Lansing, was reportedly naked during the first part of the alleged May 9 offense, although White said he saw him wearing a dark T-shirt and sweat pants.

If convicted, Smith faces up to four years in prison on the felonious assault charges and a possible five years and $15,000 in fines for the malicious destruction of property charges. He could spend up to a year behind bars for the domestic violence charge and another two years for the felony firearms charge.

A conviction wouldn't necessarily lead to removal from office, although there is a state law that gives lawmakers an option to remove a colleague who breaches the public's trust.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, stripped Smith of his committee assignments and relieved him of Democratic caucus duties, such as being the assistant Democratic whip.

Others have called for Smith to resign, and although he has missed some legislative sessions, he still holds his seat.

Smith's father, formerly Wayne Circuit chief judge and currently head of the court's Juvenile Division, was in the courtroom Thursday. The judge told a woman sitting next to him to be quiet, snapping at her, "I don't need your help!"

Sen. Smith is scheduled to appear in Wayne Circuit Court July 9 for an arraignment.













Sen. Virgil Smith returns to Senate
Gary Heinlein, The Detroit News
11:49 a.m. EDT May 26, 2015
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2015/05/26/virgil-smith/27959243/

Lansing — Detroit Democratic Sen. Virgil Smith returned to work for Tuesday’s Senate session but refused to talk about criminal charges related to an alleged shooting of his ex-wife’s car more than two weeks ago.

The 35-year-old lawmaker took his seat in the Senate without speaking to the press after having missed the past six legislative sessions following the incident at his house late May 9 or early May 10.

Smith spoke with colleagues and voted on bills but didn’t respond to questions fired at him by reporters who trailed him as he left the Capitol and headed down the front walk during a noon recess.

Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich, who has stripped Smith of his committee assignments and duties as assistant caucus whip, has urged the lawmaker to reassess his political future.

Smith also did not speak to the media following a preliminary court appearance on Friday.

He has been charged with felonious assault, malicious destruction of personal property $20,000 or more, domestic violence assault and battery, and felony firearm after he allegedly shot up former wife Anistia Thomas’ Mercedes Benz after an argument outside his Detroit house.

Smith was naked at the time, and another woman was in the house, according to the police report.

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus have urged patience and noted that, by law, Smith remains innocent unless proven guilty.

Smith’s appearance coincided with a scheduled Tuesday afternoon hearing on Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s proposal that would allow auto insurance companies to sell Detroiters lower-cost policies with a maximum of $275,000 in medical coverage for auto-related injuries. Smith is the plan’s legislative sponsor.

Smith’s legislative website has been taken down except for a message that reads “Senator Virgil Smith's office will continue to be open and available to assist constituents of the 4th Senate district. If you need any assistance, please call 517-373-7918 or email senvsmith@senate.michigan.gov.”

Amber McCann, spokeswoman for Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, said members of Smith’s state-paid office staff were moved to the Senate’s main business office across the street.












State Sen. Virgil Smith ignores media questions
Elisha Anderson - Detroit Free Press 
May 22, 2015 - 12:18 p.m. EDT 

Embattled State Sen. Virgil Smith appeared in court briefly today then left the Detroit courthouse, refusing to answer questions from reporters.

The Detroit Democrat is facing three felonies and a misdemeanor in connection with shooting outside his home on May 10. He is accused of physically assaulting his ex-wife and shooting at her 2015 Mercedes-Benz multiple times with a rifle.

He had a probable cause hearing before 36th District Judge Michael Wagner this morning and showed up to court wearing a suit and tie with his lawyer, Godfrey Dillard.

During the hearing, which lasted less than three minutes, a preliminary examination was scheduled for June 12.

Smith, 35, faces charges of felonious assault, domestic violence, malicious destruction of personal property $20,000 or more and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Before the shooting, Smith's ex-wife came to his home on Wexford and found another woman there, officials said.

Two different versions of what happened have emerged.

Smith told investigators the shots were fired after his ex allegedly pushed her way into the house and attempted to attack the woman who was in Smith's bed, according to police.

His ex-wife Anistia Thomas, told police Smith invited her to the house and the two got into an argument. She said was struck by Smith four to five times in the face causing swelling, according to her account in a police report obtained by the Free Press.

Dillard has said Thomas was the aggressor and said during an earlier court hearing that the case is going to come down to "the complainant's word versus the defendant's word."

A not guilty plea was entered in the case earlier this month and Smith remains free on bond.

He is not expected back in Lansing this week. Smith declined to answer a question about his job when he left court today.

Both Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate have urged Smith to resign since charges were issued. Members of the legislative Black Caucus have offered their support to Smith and said lawmakers shouldn't be in a hurry to remove the senator from the Legislature.













Virgil Smith returns to court today on shooting charges
Robert Allen - Detroit Free Press 
May 22, 2015 - 10:04 a.m. EDT 




Smith's ex-wife told police he struck her in face several times, then chased after her with a rifle.
State Sen. Virgil Smith Jr. is set to return to court today on allegations that he fired shots as his ex-wife ran from his Detroit home earlier this month, leaving multiple bullet holes in her Mercedes-Benz SUV.

Smith, 35, faces three felonies and a misdemeanor in connection with the May 10 incident after his ex-wife Anistia Thomas told police he invited her to the house and answered the door naked, with another woman inside, and an argument ensued, according to a police report from Detroit Police Department.

"At some point during the argument, (Smith) grabbed her by the back of the head and shoved her face-first into the carpet. (His ex-wife) stood up and was struck by (Smith) four to five times in the face," according her account in the police report.

The blows caused her face to swell, and she ran out the front door as he followed with a long gun, firing multiple times as she rant to an alley and then a neighbor's house for help, she reportedly told police. During Smith's arraignment, his attorney Godfrey Dillard told the judge that Thomas was the aggressor in the situation.

With charges including felonious assault, domestic violence, malicious destruction of personal property of $20,000 or more and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony, the case is set for a probable cause hearing Friday in 36th District Court, followed by a May 29 preliminary examination.

Investigators in the case concluded the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 had bullet holes in the hood, a headlight, driver's-side front fender, driver's door, windshield, rear pillar and front passenger head rest. Police later recovered an MAS 49/56 semi-automatic rifle with a full 30-round magazine, a 30-round magazine with 28 rounds, a full 15-round magazine and an empty 10-round magazine, along with a cleaning kit for a .22 caliber firearm, according to police reports.

Smith told investigators the incident was the stupidest thing he'd ever done in his life but declined to answer specific questions about the shooting, according to police reports.

Smith, a Detroit Democrat, represents Senate District 4, which includes portions of Detroit, Allen Park, Lincoln Park and Southgate. Leaders from his own party as well as Republicans have urged him to resign, and he's been removed from his committee assignments and post as minority whip.

Recently, his website was replaced with the message: "Sen. Virgil Smith's office will continue to be open and available to assist constituents of the 4th Senate District. If you need any assistance, please call 517-373-7918 or e-mail senvsmith@senate.michigan.gov."
Free Press staff writer Kathleen Gray contributed to this report.













Virgil Smith misses 4th Senate session
Gary Heinlein - The Detroit News 
May 19, 2015 - 2:34 p.m. EDT 

Lansing — Detroit Sen. Virgil Smith missed a fourth legislative session Tuesday, his status essentially on hold while he awaits further court proceedings on charges from a shooting incident outside his home.

Smith, whose Senate office is locked, was released on bond a week ago. Members of the Senate Republican and Democratic caucuses, including Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, were deflecting questions about him Tuesday as business went on as usual.

Amber McCann, spokeswoman for Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, said members of Smith’s state-paid office staff had been moved to the Senate’s main business office across the street.

McCann said the change was made at the request of Ananich, who has advised Smith to consider whether he can continue representing his legislative district while dealing with the charges against him.

Smith, 35, is charged with felonious assault; malicious destruction of personal property worth $20,000 or more; domestic violence assault and battery; and felony firearm. He’s accused of shooting up the car of his ex-wife, Anistia Thomas, in a dispute late May 9 or early May 10 at his home.

The second-term Democratic senator is expected back in court Friday for a probable cause hearing on the charges before 36th District Court Judge Michael E. Wagner.

Ananich also has relieved Smith of his committee assignments and duties as assistant caucus whip.

Nothing else has changed regarding Smith’s status so far, McCann said.

Meekhof and other colleagues have said Smith should consider stepping down because of the seriousness of the charges. But members of the Legislative Black Caucus urged patience and noted that, by law, Smith remains innocent unless proven guilty.

The Senate has the power to remove members but there is no set timetable for doing so. Smith’s four days of absence are minor compared with past lawmakers who weren’t able to attend owing to illness.

Sen. Jackie Vaughn of Detroit, a veteran of more than 30 years as a lawmaker when he suffered a stroke in 2000, missed numerous sessions before leaving the Senate in 2002 under the state term limits law. He died in 2006.













Sen. Virgil Smith's presence in Lansing is shrinking
Kathleen Gray - Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau 
May 19, 2015 - 9:16 a.m. EDT 


LANSING — His website essentially has been taken down. His phone number goes straight to voice mail. And embattled state Sen. Virgil Smith isn't expected back to Lansing this week.

The Detroit Democrat is facing three felonies and a misdemeanor in connection with a non-fatal shooting involving his ex-wife — specifically, her Mercedes —outside of his Detroit home more than a week ago.

Since he was arraigned on those charges last week, both Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate have urged Smith to resign. Although members of the legislative Black Caucus have offered their support to Smith and said lawmakers shouldn't be in a hurry to remove the Senator from the Legislature.

"He reached out to me after he was released from jail. In the course of our conversation, I told him I thought he should consider resigning," said Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint. "Sen. Smith, like every American, is entitled to due process. I would encourage him to consider doing whatever it takes to focus on the trial he faces, and to allow the people of his district to have a Senator who is wholly focused on them."

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, also has said that Smith should think about resigning his seat.

Smith has not resigned, but Ananich removed him from his committee assignments and his post as minority whip in the Senate.

His Senate website has been replaced with the message: "Senator Virgil Smith's office will continue to be open and available to assist constituents of the 4th Senate district. If you need any assistance, please call 517-373-7918 or email senvsmith@senate.michigan.gov."

But that phone number goes straight to voice-mail and Smith's office remains locked.

Smith is facing a probable cause hearing on Friday before 36th District Judge Michael Wagner, and a preliminary examination on May 29 on the felony charges of malicious destruction of property over $20,000, felonious assault and using a firearm during the commission of a felony, as well as a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence.

The charges stem from an incident in which Smith allegedly got into an altercation with his ex-wife, who, according to Detroit Police Department reports, discovered another woman — Smith's girlfriend — in his bed. He told police he fired a .22-caliber rifle into his ex-wife's car and called it the stupidest thing he's done in his life.

The Senate can move to hold hearings to expel Smith from the Senate, a tactic last used when the Senate voted to remove former Sen. Dave Jaye, a Macomb County Republican, from office in 2001 after a domestic violence incident involving his then fiance, three drunk driving arrests and reports of abusive behavior towards Senate staff.

No one has called for those explusion hearings — yet. Smith's attorney Godfrey Dillard did not return messages from the Free Press.













Sen. Virgil Smith of Detroit evaded prior felony charge in 2010
By Gus Burns
May 13, 2015 at 10:36 AM
Updated May 13, 2015 at 12:01 PM






DETROIT, MI -- State Sen. Virgil Smith of Detroit, facing felonies for a shooting incident involving his ex-wife Sunday, evaded a potential prior felony in 2010.

Smith received citations for impaired driving and operating while intoxicated in 2004, and was arrested a third time under suspicion of operating while intoxicated at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12, 2010, but never charged.

The third offense would have been a felony.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy decided not to have her office review the case, due to a conflict of interest, and instead turned it over to the Attorney General's Office. The Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office was ultimately chosen to review Smith's case, says Washtenaw County First Assistant Prosecutor Konrad L. Siller.

Smith's father, Virgil C. Smith, was at the time of the 2010 arrest and remains a Wayne County Third District Court judge.

The judge also served as a Wayne County assistant prosecutor until his judicial appointment in 2004 by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Siller reviewed the case and ruled there wasn't adequate evidence to prosecute and convict Smith, who initially registered nearly twice the legal blood-alcohol level for driving after submitting to a roadside preliminary breath test.

Detroit police observed Smith, at the time not yet a state senator, as he accelerated quickly from a stop light. He reached estimated speeds in excess of 55 mph in a 30 mph zone and failed to use a turn signal while changing lanes before being stopped by officer, a May 18, 2010 letter from Siller to Detroit police says.

Officers said they smelled a "strong odor" of alcohol on Smith's breath and ordered him from the car, when he proceeded to twice lean to his left while walking to the rear of the vehicle, the letter says.

Smith told police he'd consumed three shots of Hennessy, at which time the officers requested a preliminary roadside breath test, which isn't admissible in court but offers police evidence of probable cause to make a drinking and driving arrest.

Smith had a .154 blood-alcohol level, according to the roadside test. The maximum legal alcohol limit for driving is .08 in Michigan.

Despite indications he wasn't sober, officers failed to conduct a field sobriety test.

Sillers said when suspects test extraordinarily high on the roadside tests, police sometimes forgo the field sobriety test.

The Detroit police transported Smith to the precinct where he was administered a more reliable and court-admissible DataMaster blood-alcohol test.

Less than an hour after being pulled over, the test revealed a legal blood-alcohol level of .07, Siller's letter states, adding that officers did not note compliance with state law that requires suspects be monitored for 15 minutes prior to the test to ensure they don't eat, drink, smoke or regurgitate.

Without that 15-minute observation period, Siller told MLive it's inadmissible, "so in the end we had nothing to use in court."

Smith was cited for driving with tinted windows and speeding.

Smith's most recent trouble arose from a domestic dispute about 1 a.m. Sunday. The senator's ex-wife visited his home on Wexford in Detroit to find him in the home with another woman.

An altercation ensued and ended with the ex-wife running away and Smith firing a rifle at her Mercedes Benz, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said.

Smith's ex-wife "is obviously the aggressor in this," Smith's attorney, Godfrey Dillard, said during the arraignment Tuesday. " ... The defendant was at his home when these events happened and (Smith's ex-wife) forced her way in his home and attacked the defendant as well as the other person who was with the defendant."

The Detroit News obtained police reports that indicate Smith fired a rifle upwards of 10 times at his ex-wife's Mercedes Benz after she arrived to find the senator naked with another woman in the house.

The Detroit News reports, based on the statement made to police by Smith's ex-wife, that Smith smashed her face into the carpet and punched her up to five times prior to the shooting that led her to run into an alley and later to a neighbor's home where she called 911.

Following the charges Tuesday, Smith was relieved of key roles in the state Legislature and removed from multiple committees.

Though Smith's father continues to preside as a judge in Wayne County's Third Circuit Court, Worthy says there won't be a conflict this time because he presides over the juvenile division.

Worthy's office also prosecutes cases in the juvenile and family court.

Smith is charged with felonious assault; malicious destruction of personal property, $20,000 or more; domestic violence, assault and battery; and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

He was released from jail Tuesday on a $25,000, 10 percent bond.

Smith served three years in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2010. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2014 and represents the Fourth District, which includes portions of Allen Park, Detroit, Lincoln Park and Southgate.













Virgil Smith DUI dismissal.pdf
MLIVE
May 13, 2015 at 10:36 AM















State Sen. Virgil Smith released on bond
George Hunter, Gary Heinlein, Oralandar Brand-Williams, 
The Detroit News 7:53 a.m. EDT May 13, 2015





Detroit — As state Sen. Virgil Smith Jr. sat in a holding cell Tuesday awaiting word on charges in a shooting incident involving his ex-wife, his colleagues in Lansing stripped him of committee and caucus duties.

Just before 5 p.m. he was released from police custody at the Detroit Detention Center on Mound Road to calls in Lansing for his resignation from the Legislature.

Smith, 35, was charged with felonious assault, malicious destruction of personal property $20,000 or more, domestic violence assault and battery and felony firearm after he was accused of shooting up the car of his ex-wife, Anistia Thomas, overnight Sunday while naked.

He was arraigned by video before 36th District Magistrate Millicent Sherman and given a $25,000 bond. He paid 10 percent and was released.

The charges prompted Senate Democratic and majority Republican leaders Tuesday afternoon to pressure Smith, D-Detroit, to consider resigning.

"These are serious charges, and Sen. Smith should give serious consideration to whether or not he can still serve his constituents," said Amber McCann, spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive.

It takes a two-thirds majority or 26 of the Senate's 38 members to vote to expel a member and list the reason or reasons in the Senate journal, according to the Michigan Constitution. Republicans control 27 seats.

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, stripped Smith of his committee assignments and relieved him of Democratic caucus duties, such as being the assistant Democratic whip.

"We are responsible for ensuring the people of Michigan, and the people of the 4th Senate District, are represented by a senator who can serve them effectively," Ananich said in a statement.

Smith had been the minority vice chairman of the agriculture, economic development and energy committees as well as a member of the banking and financial institutions panel.

The Michigan Legislative Black Caucus urged the public and other lawmakers to withhold judgment on Smith, considering he has served as a state representative and senator "with distinction" since 2003.

"The membership of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus opposes violence and understands the seriousness of these allegations," the caucus said in a statement. "However, we would like to urge due process and equal protection in this matter as outlined in our 14th Amendment.

"Like any other individual, Sen. Smith remains innocent until proven guilty."

If he is convicted of the crimes he's accused of, it wouldn't necessarily lead to removal from office despite a state law meant to give lawmakers an option to remove a colleague who breaches the public's trust.

"I'd caution people to reserve their judgment," fellow Detroit Democrat Bert Johnson said earlier Tuesday.

"There will come a time when there will have to be some decisions made about actions here, when and if this thing takes a turn for the worse, but we're not there yet," he added. "This is a big, big thing, and it's trouble, but it deserves our patience and our due diligence."

Smith is the son of Wayne County Circuit Judge Virgil Smith, who presides over the court's Juvenile Division.

After police Monday sought charges against Smith, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy sent the warrant request back for further investigation. Police re-sent the warrant request Tuesday.

"We asked for further work on the warrant and the information was received this morning," Worthy said in a statement. "We let the facts and evidence guide our charging decision and nothing else."

Besides the charges he faces, Smith was ordered to have no contact with his ex-wife.

Godfrey Dillard, Smith's attorney, called Thomas the "aggressor" in the incident.

Dillard said during the brief arraignment hearing that Thomas "forced her way into (Smith's home)" and attacked him.

"This case is going to come down to the complainant's word versus the defendant's word," Dillard said. He refused comment after the hearing.

Dillard on Monday had asked Chief Wayne Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny to sign a writ authorizing Smith's early release from the Detroit Detention Center, but Kenny refused, three law enforcement sources confirmed.

Kenny declined to comment, because he said the case might be assigned to him. Dillard did not return a phone call seeking comment.

If convicted, Smith faces up to four years in prison on the felonious assault charges; a possible five years and $15,000 in fines for the malicious destruction of property charges. He could spend up to a year behind bars for the domestic violence charge and another two years for the felony firearms charge.

Smith told police that shooting at Thomas' Mercedes-Benz GLA250 with a rifle was "the most stupid thing" in his life.

In a Detroit Police report, Smith said Thomas "was banging on (the) bedroom window" of his home in the 18000 block of Wexford on the city's east side at about 1 a.m. Smith said he opened the front door, and Thomas "kicked the door open and pushed (past) him."

Smith told police Thomas tried to attack a woman who was in his bed. He said he grabbed Thomas, they both fell backwards, knocking over a television. Smith told police he forced Thomas out of the house and she threw a chair at the windows. He then said he shot at her car.

A second police report, containing Thomas' side of the story, said she was invited to stay the night at Smith's house, and, when she arrived a naked Smith and an unknown woman met them at the door.

She told police she and Smith argued, he grabbed her and shoved her face first into the carpet. Smith then hit her four or five times in the face with his fists. Thomas said as she fled the house Smith followed her with a gun and fired at her.

Police said a rifle of undisclosed make and model was recovered from the home, according to the report. They called it an automatic weapon, but that could not be confirmed.

Smith filed for divorce in 2009, 59 days after the two were married. The marriage was annulled, according to court records. The couple has no children, according to the filing.

Smith represents the 4th Senate District, from the city's north side, south to Allen Park, Lincoln Park and Southgate. He was re-elected in 2014 to a second four-year term. He previously served three terms in the Michigan House, following his father into politics.


In 2000, he had an arrest for minor in possession of alcohol, according to Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams. In February 2004, he had an operating while impaired by liquor offense; in August of that year, he faced an operating while intoxicated offense. His license was revoked in 2004, Woodhams said. It was fully reinstated in December 2008.













Senator's marriage to ex, whose car he shot, was brief
By Matt Helms and Elisha Anderson
Detroit Free Press 
May 12, 2015 - 10:01 p.m. EDT 

The marriage between state Sen. Virgil Smith and his ex — whose Mercedes-Benz he's accused of shooting up with a rifle on Sunday after she discovered another woman in his home — was brief and appears to have started out on the wrong foot.

Smith and Anistia Thomas were married in Detroit on May 6, 2009, but Smith filed for divorce, less than two months later, on July 10, citing a marital breakdown beyond repair, Wayne County court records show.

Virgil Smith claimed they lived separately — he in Detroit and she in Brooklyn, N.Y. — and that they never cohabited. She disputed that, saying they had indeed lived together, although she did maintain a home in New York.

Anistia Smith counter sued, seeking an annulment. She claimed she'd been deceived by Virgil Smith who, according to court filings, made promises and assurances prior to the marriage "that he would attend marriage counseling, work diligently to combine the parties' lives into one, and work on matters of communication through spiritual guidance."

Specifics weren't spelled out, but Anistia Smith said in court papers that she "relied upon these assurances and representations in consent to marriage, but believes the representations were false and made with intent to deceive."

She denied that there was a breakdown in the marriage, instead asking that it be annulled, arguing that, "rather that perform upon his promises and assurances, Virgil Smith commenced proceedings for annulment or divorce … a mere 59 days after the marriage ceremony."

Virgil Smith later consented to his wife's request for an annulment, which Wayne County Circuit Judge Charlene Elder granted on Oct. 6, 2009.

Smith's attorney, Godfrey Dillard, in the criminal case did not comment today after his client was arraigned in Detroit's 36th District Court on charges. Thomas has not returned messages seeking comment.

The Detroit Democrat is facing felonious assault, domestic violence, malicious destruction of property and felony firearm charges in connection with the Sunday incident outside of his home in the 18600 block of Wexford. According to the prosecutor's office, Smith physically assaulted his ex-wife and shot her 2015 Mercedes-Benz multiple times at about 1 a.m.

Smith told police she pushed her way into his home, attempted to attack a woman in his bed and he forced her out of his house, according to police. He told investigators she threw a chair at his windows and he shot her vehicle.













Senate colleagues have doubts about Virgil Smith in office
By Kathleen Gray
Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau 
May 12, 2015 - 7:07 p.m. EDT 
http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2015/05/12/sen-virgil-smith-absent-senate-waiting-word-possible-charges/27179301/

LANSING – After Sen. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, was charged with four felonies in the wake of a shooting at his house, the drumbeat for his resignation or removal from office grew louder Tuesday. Other legislators, meanwhile, cautioned against jumping to judgment against the longtime legislator.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, expressed doubt that Smith could continue serving effectively.


"The charges are very serious and Sen. Smith should give serious consideration to whether or not he can still serve his constituents," said Amber McCann, spokeswoman for Meekhof.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, said Smith would be removed from his committee assignments and his position as assistant minority whip.

"We are responsible for ensuring the people of Michigan, and the people of the 4th Senate District, are represented by a senator who can serve them effectively," Ananich said in a statement. "To that end, Sen. Smith has been removed from his committees and been relieved of his caucus responsibilities, effective immediately."

The Senate hasn't called for a hearing on expelling Smith, a tactic that's only been used once before when Sen. David Jaye, a Macomb County Republican, was expelled from office in 2001. That came after a domestic violence incident with his then fiancee, three drunk driving arrests and reports of abusive behavior toward staff.

When attendance was called in the state Senate on Tuesday, Smith's name on the electronic voting board stayed yellow, signifying an unexcused absence from the Legislature.

The Detroit Democrat is now facing four felony charges in connection with the shooting at his house early Sunday morning.

Ananich removed Smith from his five committee assignments -- he serves as vice chairman of the Agriculture, the Economic Development and the Insurance committees and is a member of the Banking and Financial Institutions and the Energy and Technology committees -- as well as his leadership position in the caucus. It wasn't clear Tuesday evening whether Smith would be barred from attending caucus meetings if he returns to Lansing.

The Senate could hold a hearing to expel Smith, charged with shooting at his ex-wife after she found another woman in his bed and began arguing with Smith, according to Detroit Police reports. Expulsion would require a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate.

He told police that shooting at his ex-wife's car was one of the stupidest things he had done in his life.

Smith was arrested Sunday and arraigned Tuesday on charges of felonious assault, domestic violence, malicious destruction of personal property $20,000 or more and felony firearm.

Both Republicans and Democrats said the charges are serious but not to the point of expulsion yet.

Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park, said the Democrats huddled in private Tuesday. "And we agreed, he's our friend. He's our guy. We won't look past anything that might be charged. But in this hypersensitive, public relations-riddled environment of 24-hour news I would caution people to reserve judgment and to let the systems do what they know how to do."

"There will come a time when there will have to be decisions made on what happens here when and if this thing takes a turn for the worse," Johnson added.

The Legislative Black Caucus urged people to let the legal process work before condemning Smith.

"The membership of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus opposes violence and understands the seriousness of these allegations. However, we would like to urge due process and equal protection in this matter," state Rep. Sheldon Neely, D-Flint, said in a statement. "Like any other individual, Sen. Smith remains innocent until proven guilty. While some are calling for his resignation ... any punitive action taken at this time would be premature."

Smith began his legislative career as a state representative in 2003. He served three terms in the House and was elected to his second term as a senator last year.

If Smith resigns or is expelled from the Senate, Mayor Mike Duggan will lose a key ally in his bid to win state approval for a cheaper auto insurance plan for Detroiters. Smith was the only Detroit Democrat who fully supported Duggan's plan, which would create a city-chartered insurance program in which private insurers would be able to offer Detroit drivers discounted insurance that didn't have the catastrophic coverage that other Michigan drivers get in their insurance plans.

Duggan said he wasn't worried about the possible loss of Smith in the Legislature.

"Anytime anybody is caught up in that type of situation, it's an issue, but we're going to do what we've got to do and line up our votes," Duggan said after updating the City Council Tuesday morning on his proposal for D-Insurance.

Duggan declined comment on the allegations against Smith, a co-sponsor of the insurance bill. The mayor said that getting a new sponsor, if necessary, "is not a difficult practical issue."

Michigan voters overwhelming supported a ballot proposal in 2010 that would prohibit people from holding state elective office if they were convicted of a felony that involved "dishonesty, deceit, fraud or a breach of the public trust," that involved their duties as office holders.

Former Attorney General Mike Cox said the shooting outside Smith's house doesn't necessarily fit that ballot proposal because it had nothing to do with the duties of his office.













State Sen. Virgil Smith free on bond in shooting case
By Gina Damron and Elisha Anderson
Detroit Free Press 
May 12, 2015 - 6:07 p.m. EDT 

State Sen. Virgil Smith, suspected of firing shots at his ex-wife's Mercedes-Benz early Sunday, was arraigned today on felonious assault, domestic violence and other charges in Detroit's 36th District Court.

A not guilty plea was entered by the court for Smith, who appeared in court via video. Magistrate Millicent D. Sherman set Smith's bond at $25,000, of which he has to post 10% to be released.

Smith, who police said posted bond, walked out of the Detroit Detention Center shortly after 4:50 p.m. He declined to comment to a Free Press reporter and got into a vehicle driven by his attorney, Godfrey Dillard.

Dillard did not comment after Smith's arraignment today.

In addition to felonious assault and domestic violence, Smith, 35, is also charged with malicious destruction of personal property $20,000 or more and a charge of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. The incident occurred about 1 a.m. Sunday.

During today's arraignment, Dillard, in discussing Smith's bond, told Sherman that his client is a lifelong Detroit resident and has been cooperative with police. Dillard said the complainant in the case -- Smith's ex, Anistia Thomas -- is "obviously the aggressor" in the situation, which occurred at his client's home.

He said "ultimately, this case is going to simply come down to ... the complainant's word versus the defendant's word."

According to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, Smith's 35-year-old ex-wife came to his home on Wexford and found another woman there. Smith is accused of physically assaulting his ex and shooting at her 2015 Mercedes-Benz multiple times with a rifle.

"The alleged actions of Senator Smith cannot and will not be tolerated," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement today. "We asked for further work on the warrant and the information was received this morning. We let the facts and evidence guide our charging decision and nothing else."

Smith is due back in court May 22 for a probable cause conference and his preliminary examination is scheduled for May 29. Sherman ordered that Smith have no contact with Thomas.

Detroit police initially submitted a warrant request in the case Monday, but it was returned by the prosecutor's office for more investigation. Police returned it to the prosecutor's office again today for review.

Smith told investigators it was the stupidest thing he had done in his life, according to police.

The shots were fired after his ex allegedly pushed her way into the house and attempted to attack another woman who was in Smith's bed, according to police. According to police, Smith said she threw a chair at the windows of his house and he shot at her car.

The Detroit Democrat represents Senate District 4, which includes portions of Detroit, Allen Park, Lincoln Park and Southgate.













Sen. Virgil Smith kicked from committees, leadership post following criminal charges
Jonathan Oosting 
MLIVE
May 12, 2015 at 3:43 PM
Updated May 12, 2015 at 4:03 PM
LANSING, MI — State Sen. Virgil Smith, a Detroit Demorat facing multiple felony charges after allegedly assaulting his ex-wife and firing a shotgun at her car, has been stripped of key duties in the Legislature.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, announced Tuesday that Smith will no longer serve as Assistant Democratic Whip and will be removed from all committees.

"We are responsible for ensuring the people of Michigan, and the people of the 4th Senate District, are represented by a Senator who can serve them effectively," Ananich said in a statement.

"To that end, Senator Smith has been removed from his committees and been relieved of his caucus responsibilities, effective immediately."

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, agreed to remove Smith from his committee assignments upon request from Ananich.

The announcement came roughly one hour after the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office charged Smith with felonious assault; malicious destruction of personal property, $20,000 or more; domestic violence, assault and battery; and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Smith was arraigned Tuesday in Wayne County 36th District Court, where defense attorney Godfrey Dillard argued that Smith's ex-wife was "obviously the aggressor in this."

Police reports originally obtained by The Detroit News suggest that Smith fired a rifle up to 10 times at his ex-wife's Mercedes Benz about 1 a.m. on Sunday after she arrived at his house and found him naked with another woman.

Smith had been the top ranking Senate Democrat on the Agriculture, Economic Development and Insurance committees. He also sat on the Banking Committee and the Energy and Technology Committee.

He's also played a key role in efforts to overhaul the state's no-fault auto insurance system. He was the lone Democrat to vote for a no-fault reform bill in the Senate last month and recently introduced a separate low-cost policy option.

The Michigan Constitution and Senate rules allow lawmakers to expel a member via a two-thirds supermajority vote, but such a move is very rare. Former Sen. David Jaye, a Macomb County Republican, was expelled in 2001 following a series of arrests.

As of Tuesday morning, leadership was not pursuing the expulsion option.

"Senator Smith's absence was noted and mentioned in the caucus room, and nothing more," said Amber McCann, a spokesperson for Meekhof and Senate Republicans. "There was no discussion about any action or anything past that."

Democrats did not seek an excused absence from Tuesday's session for Smith, who had remained in custody but had not yet been charged.

Smith is also chairman of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus. Members could eventually vote to remove Smith from the post but had not taken any action as of Tuesday morning, according to Rep. Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint.

"It would have to happen that way, but right now our organizational structure is in play. I'm the first vice chair, so I'll be taking over right now for the meeting we have coming up," said Neeley, referring to a "legislative day" scheduled for May 21.

Neeley declined to comment directly on the allegations against Smith.

"Due process has to be engaged here, but the primary focus of the caucus currently is our event that's coming up," he said earlier Tuesday.

Democrats are currently outnumbered in the Senate 11 to 27. Smith won re-election last year in the 4th District after surviving a primary challenge from former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit.













Attorney for Sen. Virgil Smith calls his ex-wife the obvious aggressor
By Gus Burns 
MLIVE
May 12, 2015 at 3:25 PM
Updated May 12, 2015 at 3:42 PM

DETROIT, MI -- The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office charged state Sen. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, with four crimes in connection with a shooting incident about 1 a.m. Sunday at the 35-year-old's Detroit home.

He's charged with felonious assault; malicious destruction of personal property, $20,000 or more; domestic violence, assault and battery; and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Wayne County 36th District Chief Magistrate Millicent D. Sherman set Smith's bond at $25,000, 10 percent, and entered not-guilty pleas on his behalf during the video arraignment Tuesday.

The Prosecutor's Office says Smith's "ex-wife came to his home on Wexford Street and discovered another woman there. It is alleged that Smith physically assaulted his ex-wife and shot at her 2015 Mercedes multiple times with a rifle."

Smith's attorney, Godfrey Dillard, refused to make comment to media following the hearing but called it a he-said-she-said situation during the arraignment.

Smith's ex-wife "is obviously the aggressor in this," he told the court. " ... The defendant was at his home when these events happened and (Smith's ex-wife) forced her way in his home and attacked the defendant as well as the other person who was with the defendant."

According to Wayne County tax records, the home where the incident occurred is owned by an Eliza Smith.

Virgil Smith has been jailed since his arrest Sunday.

Smith, chairman of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus and a prominent Democrat in the state Senate, is already facing fallout from the arrest.

"We are responsible for ensuring the people of Michigan, and the people of the Fourth Senate District, are represented by a senator who can serve them effectively, "Senate Democratic Caucus leader Jim Ananich said in a statement Tuesday. "To that end, Sen. Smith has been removed from his committees and been relieved of his Caucus responsibilities, effective immediately."

The Detroit News obtained police reports that indicate Smith fired a rifle upwards of 10 times at his ex-wife's Mercedes Benz after she arrived to find the senator naked with another woman in the house.

The Detroit News reports, based on the statement made to police by Smith's ex-wife, that Smith smashed her face into the carpet and punched her up to five times prior to the shooting that led her to run into an alley and later to a neighbor's home where she called 911.

No one answered at Smith's home where a barking brown dog was in the fenced backyard Tuesday. Multiple business cards from reporters were wedged in the front door.

"It's none of your business," said one neighbor who opened her front door two houses north about 10 a.m. Tuesday. "Get out of here."

Smith served three years in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2010. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2014 and represents the Fourth District, which includes portions of Allen Park, Detroit, Lincoln Park and Southgate.

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof is monitoring the situation but is not currently planning any attempts to punish or expel Smith, according to a spokeswoman.

"At this point, the majority leader believes this is an issue for the police to handle and law enforcement to handle," said Amber McCann. "He doesn't want to pursue any options until the full scope of the incident is apparent."

Senate rules allow Michigan lawmakers to expel a member with a two-thirds supermajority vote, but such a move is rare. Former Sen. David Jaye, a Macomb County Republican, was expelled in 2001.

Smith has received citations for impaired driving and operating while intoxicated in 2004, for which his license was revoked and reinstated to a restricted status in 2007, according to a statement issued by Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams.

He's received four speeding tickets since his license reinstatement and received a minor in possession of alcohol citation while in East Lansing in 2000, according to Secretary of State records.

Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan refused to comment on the shooting incident during conversations with media at a development announcement for the former Southwestern High School in Detroit Monday.

"That's in the criminal justice system and that will go through the normal process, due process," Snyder said.

Smith recently partnered with Duggan to create legislation to reduce auto insurance premiums for Detroit residents by lowering the minimum insurance requirements.

"We're going to have to wait and see what Kym Worthy does, so we'll leave that to the prosecutor," said Duggan Monday. " ... I'm going to leave the whole thing to the prosecutor.

"When I was prosecutor I didn't appreciate other officials commenting on my charging decisions and I'm going to give her the same courtesy and not comment, and she'll do whatever's appropriate."

Michigan is among about 10 states with a full-time Legislature. Senators begin at a starting annual pay of about $71,000.

Neither Smith nor his  attorney have responded to MLive requests for comment.













Senate expulsion a possibility for Virgil Smith, but leaders taking a wait-and-see approach
By Jonathan Oosting
MLIVE
May 12, 2015 at 12:37 PM
Updated May 12, 2015 at 3:10 PM
LANSING, MI — Michigan lawmakers are taking a wait-and-see approach on potential punishment for state Sen. Virgil Smith, a Detroit Democrat in police custody after allegedly firing a shotgun at his ex-wife's car.

Options include expulsion from the Senate — a rare move requiring a 2/3 supermajority vote — and replacement as chairman of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus.

Detroit police arrested Smith, 35, on Sunday afternoon after receiving a call regarding an alleged domestic violence incident at his home.

Police reports obtained by The Detroit News suggest Smith fired a rifle upwards of 10 times at his ex-wife's Mercedes Benz about 1 a.m. Sunday after she arrived to find the senator naked with another woman in the house.

"This is a very serious situation," Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, told reporters after session on Tuesday.

"We're waiting to find out what the facts are. There have been no charges. Obviously our thoughts are with the victims, and we're going to take this matter very seriously and make sure we take the appropriate action moving forward."

Democrats did not seek an excused absence from session for Smith, who remained in custody Tuesday morning as the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office considered a warrant request resubmitted earlier in the day by the Detroit Police Department.

Smith is chairman of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus and is a prominent Democrat in the state Senate, where he sits on several committees and has crossed the aisle to work with Republicans on a number of high-profile issues.

The Black Caucus could consider a leadership change at some point, according to Rep. Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint, but that has not yet happened and would require a vote by members.

"It would have to happen that way, but right now our organizational structure is in play. I'm the first vice chair, so I'll be taking over right now for the meeting we have coming up," said Neeley, referring to a "legislative day" on May 21.

Neeley declined to comment directly on the allegations against Smith.

"Due process has to be engaged here, but the primary focus of the caucus currently is our event that's coming up," he said.

Senate rules allow Michigan lawmakers to expel a member with a two-thirds vote, but such a move is very rare. Former Sen. David Jaye, a Macomb County Republican, was expelled in 2001 following a series of arrests.

Ananich and Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, have discussed Smith's arrest but are not yet pursuing the expulsion option.

"Senator Smith's absence was noted and mentioned in the caucus room, and nothing more," said Amber McCann, a spokesperson for Meekhof and Senate Republicans. "There was no discussion about any action or anything past that."

Ananich said that "nothing's off the table" in terms of a potential punishment for Smith, but he said he wants to make sure that any action is done in a "deliberative and fair" fashion.

"I think we'll do it as a Senate, but I think it's our responsibility to get our caucus in order," he said. "We'll do this as a Senate, but we're going to make sure we (consider) the seriousness of it. We'll move forward as we know facts."

A Detroit police spokesperson said earlier this week that Smith is likely to face charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and malicious destruction of property.

Smith's ex-wife alleged that he punched her up to five times during the dispute. The Senator, in his own statement to police, alleged that she attempted to attack his girlfriend and said they fell into a TV when he tried to grab her.

Smith, the son of a former state lawmaker now serving as a juvenile court judge, is the top ranking Senate Democrat on the Agriculture, Economic Development and Insurance committees. He also sits on the Banking Committee and the Energy and Technology Committee.

Smith has also played a key role in ongoing discussions about overhauling the state's no-fault auto insurance system. He was the lone Democrat to vote for a no-fault reform bill in the Senate last month and recently introduced a separate low-cost policy option.

Democrats are currently outnumbered in the Senate 11 to 27. Smith won re-election last year in the 4th District after surviving a primary challenge from former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit.

Update: Sen. Virgil Smith has been removed from all committees and relieved of his duties within the Democratic caucus, Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich announced Tuesday afternoon in the wake of criminal charges against Smith.













Detroit police resubmit warrant request in Sen. Virgil Smith shooting incident
By Gus Burns
MLIVE
May 12, 2015 at 11:35 AM
Updated May 12, 2015 at 1:12 PM

DETROIT, MI -- A charging decision is near in the case of state Sen. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, who's accused of discharging a rifle into vehicle during a domestic disturbance about 1 a.m. Sunday.

"The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office has recently received the returned warrant request from the Detroit Police Department and it is currently being reviewed," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy spokeswoman Maria Miller said in a statement Tuesday morning. "An update will be sent out when a charging decision has been made."

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office received an initial warrant request Monday, but returned it to police requesting more information.

Detroit Police Media Relations Director June West said police are seeking charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and malicious destruction of property.

The Detroit News obtained police reports that indicate Smith fired a rifle upwards of 10 times at his ex-wife's Mercedes Benz after she arrived to find the senator naked with another woman in the house.

The Detroit News reports, based on the statement made to police by Smith's ex-wife, that Smith smashed her face into the carpet and punched her up to five times prior to the shooting that led her to run into an alley and later to a neighbor's home where she called 911.

Police arrested Smith and seized a rifle from the inside his home on the 18000 block of Wexford after serving a search warrant Sunday.

No one answered at Smith's home where a barking brown dog was in the fenced backyard Tuesday. Multiple business cards from reporters were wedged in the front door.

"It's none of your business," said one neighbor who opened her front door two houses north about 10 a.m. Tuesday. "Get out of here."

Smith served three years in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2010. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2014 and represents the Fourth District, which includes portions of Allen Park, Detroit, Lincoln Park and Southgate.

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof is monitoring the situation but is not currently planning any attempts to punish or expel Smith, according to a spokeswoman.

"At this point, the majority leader believes this is an issue for the police to handle and law enforcement to handle," said Amber McCann. "He doesn't want to pursue any options until the full scope of the incident is apparent."

Senate rules allow Michigan lawmakers to expel a member with a two-thirds supermajority vote, but such a move is rare. Former Sen. David Jaye, a Macomb County Republican, was expelled in 2001.

Smith has received citations for impaired driving and operating while intoxicated in 2004, for which his license was revoked and reinstated to a restricted status in 2007, according to a statement issued by Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams.

He's received four speeding tickets since his license reinstatement and received a minor in possession of alcohol citation while in East Lansing in 2000, according to Secretary of State records.

Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan refused to comment on the shooting incident during conversations with media at a development announcement for the former Southwestern High School in Detroit Monday.

"That's in the criminal justice system and that will go through the normal process, due process," Snyder said.

Smith recently partnered with Duggan to create legislation to reduce auto insurance premiums for Detroit residents by lowering the minimum insurance requirements.

"We're going to have to wait and see what Kym Worthy does, so we'll leave that to the prosecutor," said Duggan Monday. " ... I'm going to leave the whole thing to the prosecutor.

"When I was prosecutor I didn't appreciate other officials commenting on my charging decisions and I'm going to give her the same courtesy and not comment, and she'll do whatever's appropriate."

Michigan is among about 10 states with a full-time Legislature. Senators begin at a starting annual pay of about $71,000.

Neither Smith nor his  attorney have responded to MLive requests for comment.













Sen. Smith said firing shots stupidest thing in his life
By Gina Damron and Robert Allen
Detroit Free Press
May 11, 2015 - 7:47 p.m. EDT
http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2015/05/11/smith-facing-aggravated-assault-charges/27112461/

The incident occurred after Smith's ex-wife pushed her way into his house and tried to attack another woman who was in his bed, police say.

According to the police sources, the shots were fired at a Mercedes-Benz belonging to Smith's ex-wife, who was not injured. She has not been named by police.

Smith told police the woman came to the house in the 18600 block of Wexford and was banging on his bedroom window. When Smith opened the door, she kicked it, pushed past him and went to the bedroom, saw another woman in his bed and attempted to attack her, according to police.

Smith told police he grabbed the woman and they fell backward, knocking over a television. He told her to leave his house and he went to the bedroom to check on the other woman, according to police.

When he went to the front door, according to police, Smith saw the woman throwing a chair at his house windows.

Then, he told police, he shot the woman's vehicle.

Craig said todayMonday that 10 shots hit the car.

Officers executed a search warrant on Smith's home, where they recovered a rifle, a .22-caliber rifle cleaning kit, three magazines with live rounds and one empty one, according to police.

Smith remained in police custody Monday evening, said June West, a spokeswoman for the Detroit Police Department. The Free Press left messages for Smith's attorney, Godfrey Dillard, but he could not be reached for comment.

West declined to provide additional details about the case.

"I can't comment on any of the specifics," West said.

Craig previously said: "We have not treated this case any differently than others that involve domestic violence."

Smith, a Democrat, represents Senate District 4, which includes portions of Detroit, Allen Park, Lincoln Park and Southgate

Democrats today expressed both concern and outrage over the allegations against Smith.

"We are deeply troubled by these allegations. As details of the situation become clearer, we will take appropriate action," said Angela Wittrock, spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint.

The liberal activist group Progress Michigan went a step further, calling for Smith's resignation.

"If these allegations against the Senator are true, he should resign immediately," said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. "The right to due process is an important value shared by progressives and while the Senator is innocent until proven guilty, these extremely troubling allegations and legal proceedings will make it difficult at best for him to represent his constituents."

Smith, a graduate of Michigan State and Western Michigan universities, was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2002. He was elected to the Senate in 2010. His father, Virgil Smith Jr., is presiding judge in Wayne County Family Juvenile Court and served more than 20 years in the Legislature.

Smith is a key ally for Mayor Mike Duggan in his proposed plan to get cheaper insurance rates for Detroiters. When the mayor announced the plan on April 30, Smith promised to introduce what he called the D-Insurance bill, and he said he was confident he'd be able to win approval in both chambers of the Legislature.

Duggan declined to discuss the matter today at a news conference in southwest Detroit where he and Gov. Rick Snyder announced the creation of hundreds of jobs in manufacturing and training at the former Southwestern High School. The mayor said that in his previous role as a Wayne County prosecutor he didn't appreciate public officials commenting on cases before charging decisions were made, and he would afford current Prosecutor Kym Worthy the same respect.

Nor did Duggan respond to a question about whether the arrest of the senator would impact Duggan's efforts to win the Legislature's approval of D-Insurance, the mayor's initiative to lower auto insurance rates for Detroiters by allowing them to opt out of unlimited personal injury benefits in exchange for what Duggan said could be a $1,000 break off the average $3,400 annual insurance premium for city drivers.

Gov. Rick Snyder also declined to discuss the incident, saying, "That's in the criminal justice system, and that will go through the normal due-process."

Smith has backed the mayor's proposal, while several members of the delegation of state lawmakers representing Detroit have been critical of it, questioning whether it amounts to second-class insurance for Detroiters who pay some of the highest insurance rates in the nation.

Former Attorney General Mike Cox said Monday that the crimes Smith is accused of don't fit with that ballot proposal approved by voters in 2010 that prohibits people from holding state elective office if they were convicted of a felony that involved "dishonesty, deceit, fraud or a breach of the public trust."

"That wouldn't have anything to do with him holding public office," Cox said. "Traditionally, it's misconduct in public office or embezzlement or something like that."

Michigan senators do have the ability to expel a fellow member from the Senate, but it's been done only once, when Macomb County Republican Sen. David Jaye was expelled from office after being arrested on a domestic violence complaint and convicted of three drunken-driving offenses. A Senate panel held a hearing on Jaye's expulsion in 2001, recommended that he be expelled and the full Senate agreed.

"This is a matter for the police to deal with at this point," said Amber McCann, spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive. "If the Senate needs to take action, that will be a discussion for a later time."

This isn't Smith's first run-in with law enforcement, He was convicted twice in 2004 of drinking and driving — first in February of operating a vehicle while impaired by liquor in Lansing and in August of operating while intoxicated offense in Chelsea. His license was revoked because he had two or more drunken-driving convictions within seven years, according to the Michigan Department of State.

Smith appealed his revocation in 2007 and was issued a restricted license; in December 2008 he regained full driving privileges and has had a few minor traffic violations since then. He now has zero points on his driving record, according to the state.

Prior to that, while in college, Smith was arrested twice in two shoplifting-related cases. In February 2002, when Smith was in his early 20s, he dropped a philosophy book down his pants at the Student Book Store in East Lansing, according to police records. He was caught while leaving the store and handed the book back but gave police a false name and birth date, according to the report. He was arrested on disorderly conduct and presenting a false identification, later sentenced to a $250 fine and probation.

Before that incident, he'd been arrested in July 2001 while trying to flee a Meijer store in Okemos with a bottle of tequila, hiding the bottle in his sweatpants. He pleaded guilty in that case to retail fraud, according to previous reports.













Liberal organization calls for state Sen. Virgil Smith to resign if allegations proven true
By Gus Burns
MLIVE
May 11, 2015 at 5:15 PM
Updated May 11, 2015 at 5:26 PM





DETROIT, MI -- In response to the arrest of Democratic state Sen. Virgil Smith of Detroit Sunday after a domestic disturbance that concluded with him shooting his ex-wife's Mercedes Benz with a rifle, according to the Detroit News, a liberal organization say he should resign -- if the claims are proven true.

Left-leaning Progress Michigan, which is describes itself as "a communications team and media hub for the entire progressive community" and is a staunch critic of Gov. Rick Snyder, issued the statement Monday afternoon.

"If these allegations against the Senator are true, he should resign immediately," said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, in the prepared statement. "The right to due process is an important value shared by progressives and while the Senator is innocent until proven guilty, these extremely troubling allegations and legal proceedings will make it difficult at best for him to represent his constituents.

"Violence like this has no place in our society and anyone — especially elected officials — who engage in these inexcusable acts need to be held accountable."

Detroit police arrested Smith Sunday, and although charges haven't been formally announced, he's likely to face counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and malicious destruction of property, Detroit Police Media Relations Director June West said Monday.

The Detroit News obtained police reports that indicate Smith fired a rifle upwards of 10 times at his ex-wife's Mercedes Benz about 1 a.m. Sunday after she arrived to find the senator naked with another woman in the house.

The Detroit News reports, based on the statement made to police by Smith's ex-wife, that Smith smashed her face into the carpet and punched her up to five times prior to the shooting that led her to run into an alley and later to a neighbor's home where she called 911.

Police seized a rifle from the home on the 18000 block of Wexford after serving a search warrant Sunday.

Smith served three years in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2010. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2014 and represents the Fourth District, which includes portions of Allen Park, Detroit, Lincoln Park and Southgate.

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof is monitoring the situation but is not currently planning any attempts to punish or expel Smith, according to a spokeswoman.

"At this point, the majority leader believes this is an issue for the police to handle and law enforcement to handle," said Amber McCann. "He doesn't want to pursue any options until the full scope of the incident is apparent."

Senate rules allow Michigan lawmakers to expel a member with a two-thirds supermajority vote, but such a move is rare. Former Sen. David Jaye, a Macomb County Republican, was expelled in 2001.

Smith has received citations for impaired driving and operating while intoxicated in 2004, for which his license was revoked and reinstated to a restricted status in 2007, according to a statement issued by Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams.

He's received four speeding tickets since his license reinstatement and received a minor in possession of alcohol citation while in East Lansing in 2000, according to Secretary of State records.

Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan refused to comment on the shooting incident during conversations with media at a development announcement for the former Southwestern High School in Detroit Monday.

"That's in the criminal justice system and that will go through the normal process, due process," Snyder said.

Smith recently partnered with Duggan to create legislation to reduce auto insurance premiums for Detroit residents by lowering the minimum insurance requirements.

"We're going to have to wait and see what Kym Worthy does, so we'll leave that to the prosecutor," said Duggan Monday. " ... I'm going to leave the whole thing to the prosecutor.

"When I was prosecutor I didn't appreciate other officials commenting on my charging decisions and I'm going to give her the same courtesy and not comment, and she'll do whatever's appropriate."

Michigan is among about 10 states with a full-time Legislature. Senators begin at a starting annual pay of about $71,000.

Neither Smith nor his  attorney have responded to MLive requests for comment.













Editorial: Time-out for Sen. Virgil Smith
The Detroit Free Press Editorial Board
May 11, 2015 - 4:56 p.m. EDT
http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/editorials/2015/05/11/sen-smith-timeouti/27123943/

You don't need to reach any conclusions about whether state Sen. Virgil Smith Jr. is guilty in a shooting outside his Detroit home early Sunday morning to understand that, until the serious criminal charges against him are resolved, there is no constructive role for him to play in Lansing.

That means Smith needs to take a leave from his Lansing duties, immediately — to let the criminal justice process play out and, more important, to get a grip on whatever forces in his life have led him to this ignominious crossroads.

He can't serve the people while he's doing that.

Smith was arrested Monday on suspicion of aggravated assault with a gun (a felony, punishable by up to four years in prison) and malicious destruction of property in connection with the incident. Detroit police say that he fired multiple times at his girlfriend's Mercedes outside his Detroit home. Police Chief James Craig said the car was hit 10 times.

Smith, who served three terms in the state House, was re-elected in November to his second term to represent the 4th District in the state Senate. If he's convicted, he'll need to resign his seat, of course. Even if he avoids conviction — through a plea deal or, perhaps, an acquittal — but the meat of the allegations proves true, there will still be a need to discuss about what Smith's future ought to be in Lansing.

The accusations center on outrageous behavior: a domestic situation that escalated to the level of gunfire. Firing a shotgun down a street in a city where more than 300 people are killed by gun violence each year is beyond reckless. And this involves a public official whose other run-ins with the law (a drunken driving case, plus a few shoplifting incidents in college) already mark him as skating on thin ice.

The level of irresponsibility involved here is jaw-dropping, and can't be tolerated from any public official.

Of course, Smith is entitled to the presumption of innocence in this incident, just like anyone else. But if Smith contests the allegations, he still should take an immediate leave of absence with the explicit understanding that he will not resume his duties until, and unless, he is cleared of all criminal conduct in Sunday's shooting.

A temporary leave would be problematic, as it would leave Smith's constituents without representation in the state Senate during the interim. But it seems a reasonable way to acknowledge that it is impossible for Smith to perform his legislative duties while his case works its way through the courts.

Senate rules would allow Smith's office to remain open and field constituent inquiries during his absence, and his Senate colleagues — especially those in the Detroit delegation — should extend their assistance to his staff as long as Smith's future remains uncertain.

Michigan law gives Smith's colleagues little flexibility in responding to the dire criminal allegations against him, affording only the option of expulsion. But it's premature to exercise that remedy while Smith's criminal culpability remains unresolved.

The best thing Smith can do right now is step aside, voluntarily, until the case can be adjudicated.













Report: Detroit Sen. Virgil Smith found naked with woman by ex-wife prior to shooting
By Gus Burns
MLIVE
May 11, 2015 at 3:00 PM
Updated May 11, 2015 at 5:39 PM

DETROIT, MI -- State. Sen. Virgil Smith was naked when he fought with his ex-wife and shot at her car, according to police reports obtained by George Hunter of the Detroit News.

According to the Detroit News, Smith called what he did "the most stupid thing in his life." He told investigators his ex-wife began pounding on his door at 1 a.m. Sunday, and when he opened it while naked, she rushed past and attempted to attack a girlfriend in Smith's bed.

After some wrestling that resulted in a TV falling over, Smith forced his ex-wife from the home and grabbed a rifle that he fired multiple times into his ex-wife's Mercedez Benz, according to the Detroit News.

The Detroit News reports, based on the statement made to police by Smith's ex-wife, Smith smashed her face into the carpet and punched her up to five times prior to the shooting that led her into an alley and later to a neighbor's home where she called 911.

Detroit Police Media Relations Director June West said Smith left the house after the shooting but later cooperated with investigators and was arrested Sunday.

Police seized a rifle from the home on the 18000 block of Wexford after serving a search warrant.

Police responded to a call of a domestic disturbance at Smith's home about 1 a.m. Sunday.

Investigators are seeking charges for assault with a dangerous weapon and malicious destruction of property, West said. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office on Monday afternoon asked police for more information prior to making a charging decision.

Smith served three years in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2010. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2014 and represents the Fourth District, which includes portions of Allen Park, Detroit, Lincoln Park and Southgate.

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof is monitoring the situation but is not currently planning any attempts to punish or expel Smith, according to a spokeswoman.

"At this point, the majority leader believes this is an issue for the police to handle and law enforcement to handle," Amber McCann said. "He doesn't want to pursue any options until the full scope of the incident is apparent."

Senate rules allow Michigan lawmakers to expel a member with a two-thirds supermajority vote, but such a move is rare. Former Sen. David Jaye, a Macomb County Republican, was expelled in 2001.

Smith has received citations for impaired driving and operating while intoxicated in 2004, for which his license was revoked and reinstated to a restricted status in 2007, according to a statement issued by Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams.

He's received four speeding tickets since his license reinstatement and received a minor in possession of alcohol citation while in East Lansing in 2000, according to Secretary of State records.

Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan refused to comment on the shooting incident during conversations with media during a development announcement at the former Southwestern High School in Detroit Monday.

"No," said Snyder when asked for comment. "That's in the criminal justice system, and that will go through the normal process, due process."

Smith recently partnered with Duggan to release legislation to reduce auto insurance premiums for Detroit residents by lowering the minimum insurance requirements.

"We're going to have to wait and see what Kym Worthy does, so we'll leave that to the prosecutor," said Duggan. " ... I'm going to leave the whole thing to the prosecutor.

"When I was prosecutor, I didn't appreciate other officials commenting on my charging decisions, and I'm going to give her the same courtesy and not comment, and she'll do whatever's appropriate."

Michigan is among a minority of states with a full-time Legislature. Senators begin at a starting annual pay of about $71,000.

Smith and his chief of staff have not responded to MLive requests for comment.













Prosecutor wants more information about Sen. Virgil Smith shooting incident
By Gus Burns
MLIVE
May 11, 2015 at 2:07 PM
Updated May 11, 2015 at 6:12 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2015/05/prosecutor_wants_more_informat.html#incart_story_package

DETROIT, MI -- Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is asking for more information before issuing formal charges against State Sen. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, regarding a shooting incident early Sunday.

"Today a warrant request was received related to an alleged incident involving Mr. Smith over the weekend," the office said in a statement Monday. "The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is returning the matter back to the Detroit Police Department requesting further investigation."

Detroit Police Media Relations Director June West said police arrested Smith Sunday afternoon. He currently is jailed awaiting likely charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and malicious destruction of property.

Police responded to a call of a domestic disturbance at Smith's home on the 18000 block of Wexford about 1 a.m. Sunday.

Smith had left the home by the time police arrived but has since been cooperative with investigators, West said. Police later searched the home and removed a rifle.

According to the police report obtained by the Detroit News, Smith's ex-wife arrived at the home to find him naked with another woman, sparking a physical altercation that concluded with Smith firing at least 10 bullets from a rifle at his ex-wife's 2015 Mercedes Benz.

Smith served three years in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2010. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2014 and represents the Fourth District, which includes portions of Allen Park, Detroit, Lincoln Park and Southgate.

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof is monitoring the situation but currently is not planning any attempts to punish or expel Smith, according to a spokeswoman.

"At this point, the majority leader believes this is an issue for the police to handle and law enforcement to handle," said Amber McCann. "He doesn't want to pursue any options until the full scope of the incident is apparent."

Senate rules allow Michigan lawmakers to expel a member with a two-thirds supermajority vote, but such a move is rare. Former Sen. David Jaye, a Macomb County Republican, was expelled in 2001.

Smith has received citations for impaired driving and operating while intoxicated in 2004, for which his license was revoked and reinstated to a restricted status in 2007, according to a statement issued by Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams.

He's received four speeding tickets since his license reinstatement and received a minor in possession of alcohol citation while in East Lansing in 2000, according to Secretary of State records.

Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan refused to comment on the shooting incident during conversations with media during a development announcement at the former Southwestern High School in Detroit on Monday.

"No," said Snyder when asked for comment. "That's in the criminal justice system, and that will go through the normal process, due process."

Smith recently partnered with Duggan to release legislation to reduce auto insurance premiums for Detroit residents by lowering the minimum insurance requirements.

"We're going to have to wait and see what Kym Worthy does, so we'll leave that to the prosecutor," said Duggan. " ... I'm going to leave the whole thing to the prosecutor.

"When I was prosecutor, I didn't appreciate other officials commenting on my charging decisions, and I'm going to give her the same courtesy and not comment, and she'll do whatever's appropriate."

Michigan is among a minority of states with a full-time Legislature. Senators begin at a starting annual pay of about $71,000.

Smith has not responded to MLive requests for comment.













Cop report: Naked Smith fought ex-wife before shooting
George Hunter
The Detroit News 
May 11, 2015 - 1:08 p.m. EDT 
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2015/05/11/state-sen-virgil-smith-arrest-shots-fired/27113485/

Detroit — Two sides emerged Monday in the story of a lurid domestic shooting involving a state senator with longtime family connections to the the halls of power in Detroit and Lansing.

State Sen. Virgil Smith told police that opening fire at his ex-wife’s Mercedes-Benz with a rifle early Sunday morning was “the most stupid thing” in his life.

His ex-wife says she was met by a naked Smith at the front door of his home in the 18000 block of Wexford on the city’s east side and he beat her with his fists, chased her outside and shot at her four or five times as well as firing at her car.

The son of Chief Wayne County Circuit Judge Virgil Smith was being held by Detroit Police as they continue their investigation. Police Chief James Craig said police anticipated charges of aggravated assault with a gun and malicious destruction of property against Smith.

However, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday said prosecutors asked “the Detroit Police Department (for) further investigation” before deciding on charges.

His political influence, after serving three two-year terms in the state House and now in his second four-year term in the state Senate, could be in jeopardy.

Angela Wittrock, a spokeswoman for the Senate Democratic caucus, said Smith’s colleagues are “deeply troubled by these allegations.”

“As details of the situation become clearer, we will take appropriate action,” she said Monday.

If he is convicted of the crimes he’s accused of, it wouldn’t necessarily lead to removal from office despite a state law meant to give lawmakers an option to remove a colleague who breaches the public’s trust.

Smith also has two impaired driving offenses in the past 10 years.

In a statement Smith gave to investigators, he said his ex-wife, whose name is being withheld by The Detroit News, “was banging on (the) bedroom window,” at about 1 a.m., a Detroit Police report said. Smith said he opened the front door, and his ex-wife, “kicked the door open and pushed (past) him.

“(The ex-wife) went into (Smith’s) bedroom and observed a female ... in (Smith’s) bed. (Smith) stated that (the ex-wife) attempted to attack (the girlfriend),” the police report obtained by The News said. “(Smith) grabbed (his ex-wife), they fell backwards, knocking over the television. (Smith) stated that (his ex-wife) attempted to attack (his girlfriend) again.”

Smith told police “he grabbed (his ex-wife) and forced her out of his house,” the police report said. Smith then told investigators he went back into the bedroom to check on his girlfriend, and then returned to the front door, “and observed (his ex-wife) throwing a chair at his house windows.

“(Smith) then stated he did the most stupid thing in his life, he shot (the ex-wife’s) vehicle,” the report said.

After Smith was taken into police custody, he was asked several questions, “and was advised by his attorney not to answer them,” the report said. He was originally arrested for assault with intent to commit murder and aggravated assault, according to the police report.

Smith’s attorney, Godfrey Dillard, did not return phone calls.

Ex-wife offers account
A second police report, containing the ex-wife’s side of the story, was taken by police at 4:41 a.m. Sunday.

She said Smith had invited her to stay the night at his house, and, when she arrived, “she was met by a naked (Smith) and an (unknown) female,” the report said. “At this time she became angry and upset, and both started verbally arguing.

“At some point during the argument (Smith) grabbed her by the back of her head and shoved her face first into the carpet. Victim stood up and was struck by (Smith) 4-5 (times) in the face with closed fist causing cheeks on both sides of her face to swell.”

Smith’s ex-wife told police she ran out the front door, and he chased her with “an (unknown) type long gun and followed behind. She observed muzzle flash (three times) as suspect began firing at her,” the report said.

The ex-wife said she ran into a nearby alley as Smith fired the rifle. She said she went into the nearby home of a friend, “who allowed her to call 911 and clean her wounds.”

The friend later tried to retrieve the ex-wife’s 2015 Mercedes Benz GLA250, but that it was “unable to start due to gunshot damage,” the report said.

Evidence technicians later found three suspected bullet holes in the vehicle’s hood; two in the driver’s side headlight; two in the driver’s side front fender; and one each in the driver’s side door, windshield, and rear driver’s door pillar, the report said.

Police said a rifle of undisclosed make and model was recovered from the home, according to the report. They called it an automatic weapon, but that could not be confirmed.

Smith filed for divorce in 2009, and the marriage was annulled, according to court records. The couple has no children, according to the filing.

Craig: No special treatment
Craig said Smith has been treated no differently than any other suspect.

“We interviewed him and subsequently placed him under arrest,” Craig said during an impromptu press conference at Cobo Center, where he was scheduled to speak at a conference about police and community trust. “At this point, he is still in custody.”

Smith’s father, Judge Smith, had no comment Monday on the allegations.

Craig said the senator has been cooperative. “We do know there were shots fired,” he said. “However, I cannot and will not say they were fired by the senator.”

A spokesman for the senator did not respond to telephone calls and emails Sunday and Monday.

Smith represents the 4th Senate District, from the city’s north side, south to Allen Park, Lincoln Park and Southgate. He was re-elected in 2014 to a second four-year term after defeating former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Detroit in a hard-fought Democratic primary. He previously served three terms in the Michigan House, following his father into politics.

In 2000, he had an arrest for minor in possession of alcohol, according to Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams. In February 2004, he had an operating while impaired by liquor offense; in August of that year, he faced an operating while intoxicated offense. His license was revoked in 2004, Woodhams said. It was fully reinstated in December 2008.

He has no points on his record.
A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said Monday the Republican leader is not exploring any kind of disciplinary actions against Smith.

“I think it’s a little too early to be going down that path,” Meekhof spokeswoman Amber McCann said.”

A 2010 voter-approved constitutional amendment only prohibits someone convicted of a “felony involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud, or a breach of the public trust” from serving if the crime “was related to the person’s official capacity while the person was holding any elective office.”

Sunday’s incident “doesn’t meet dishonesty, deceit, fraud or breaching the public trust and is certainly not related to his job as a state senator,” former Attorney General Mike Cox said of any possible charges for Smith.

There is precedent for legislators to expel a duly elected colleague.
In May 2001, the Michigan Senate expelled Macomb County Sen. David Jaye for misconduct, including a series of drunken driving arrests, alleged abuse of Senate employees, soft pornography on his state-issued laptop computer and a question of domestic abuse.

Thirty-three of the 38 senators voted to expel Jaye from the Senate that year, seven more than were needed.













Sen. Virgil Smith of Detroit arrested after Sunday morning shooting incident
By Gus Burns
MLIVE
May 11, 2015 at 11:09 AM
Updated May 11, 2015 at 1:50 PM

DETROIT, MI -- Detroit Police Chief James Craig confirmed Monday that Sen. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, has been arrested following a shooting incident involving a woman about 1 a.m. Sunday.

"Sunday morning, May 10 at 1 a.m. DPD got a call allegedly involving a domestic violence incident on the 18000 block of Wexford and the incident also allegedly involved the discharge of a weapon, a gun," said Detroit Police Media Relations Director June West.

According to MyFoxDetroit, the incident took place at the Senator's home where Smith is alleged to have fired shots from a shotgun after arguing with the woman identified as Smith's ex-wife according to the police report obtained by the Detroit News.

West says police arrested Smith Sunday afternoon. He is currently jailed awaiting likely charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and malicious destruction of property.

Smith left his home after the shooting before police arrived but has since "made himself available" to investigators, West said.

Police served a search warrant and seized a rifle from the politician's home Sunday.

"DPD investigated this by the book," West said," just as we would in any other case."

As of 10 a.m. Monday, Wayne County Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Maria Miller said the office hadn't received a warrant review request from the police department. 

Smith served three years in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2010. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2014 and represents the Fourth District, which includes portions of Allen Park, Detroit, Lincoln Park and Southgate.

Michigan is one of 10 states with a full-time Legislature. Senators begin at a starting annual pay of about $71,000.













Michigan state senator reportedly a suspect in shooting at his home
Published May 11, 2015
FoxNews.com

A Michigan state senator reportedly has been declared a suspect in a domestic dispute outside his Detroit home Sunday in which shots were fired at a vehicle.

Police sources told the Detroit Free Press that State Sen. Virgil Smith was brought in for questioning after the incident, which occurred around 1 a.m. local time. It is not clear if Smith is still being held.

Police say Smith fired a shotgun several times after a fight with his girlfriend – who is his ex-wife -- hitting her 2015 Mercedes Benz, WDIV reported. No one was injured in the shooting.

Detroit police had been looking for Smith, who was not at his home when officers arrived, The News Herald reported. Police have been unable to contact Smith's girlfriend.

The investigation reportedly is being handled by the police department's domestic violence division.

Police spokeswoman Cassandra Lewis declined to release details about the incident, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Smith, a Democrat, represents parts of Detroit, Dearborn and all of Allen Park. He is chairman of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, and is currently serving a second term as a senator for the state's 4th Senate District.

According to Smith’s website, he attended Michigan State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, and Western Michigan University, where he received a master’s degree in public administration.

He was given the Man of Excellence Award by the Michigan Chronicle last year, the site states, and was named Legislator of the Year by the Michigan Bankers Association in 2014.  













Detroit Police Confirm State Senator Virgil Smith Arrested
CBS Detroit
Published on May 11, 2015
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State Senator Virgil Smith arrested
WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7 
Published on May 11, 2015
State Senator Virgil Smith is locked up and facing charges for allegedly shooting at his ex-wife's car.

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State Sen. Smith held in shooting at car
George Hunter and Louis Aguilar
The Detroit News
May 10, 2015 - 11:07 p.m. EDT
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2015/05/10/virgil-smith-home-shots-fired/27089371/

Detroit — State Sen. Virgil Smith was in police custody Sunday after gunshots were fired at a vehicle outside his home early that morning, according to a police source who asked not to be identified.

Smith, 35, was taken into custody at about noon Sunday, the source said.

More than one blast from a shotgun was fired at a 2015 Mercedes-Benz outside Smith's home on Wexford Street on Detroit's north side around 1 a.m., Detroit Police Chief James Craig confirmed.

The woman who owns the car, identified as Smith's girlfriend and ex-wife, was uninjured. The vehicle was hit at least once.

"This is still an ongoing investigation," said Craig, who declined further comment.

Police investigators searched the house Sunday afternoon and left carrying a black plastic bag with a long object.

A spokesman for the senator did not respond to telephone calls and emails Sunday.

Smith, D-Detroit, represents the 4th Senate District, from the city's north side, south to Allen Park, Lincoln Park and Southgate. He was re-elected in 2014 to a second four-year term after defeating former state Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Detroit in a hard-fought Democratic primary. He previously served three terms in the Michigan House, following his father, Virgil Smith Jr., into politics.

In 2000, he had an arrest for minor in possession, according to Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams. In February 2004, he had an operating while impaired by liquor offense; in August that year, he faced an operating while intoxicated offense. His license was revoked in 2004, Woodhams said. It was fully reinstated in December 2008.

He currently has no points on his record.













Michigan lawmaker shot up girlfriend’s car after fight: police  
New York Daily News
Nicole Hensley
Sunday, May 10, 2015, 8:11 PM


In the aftermath of a domestic squabble, a Detroit lawmaker allegedly grabbed a firearm and shot up his girlfriend’s new car, local reports said.

The late night shotgun blast triggered by state Sen. Virgil Smith on Sunday struck the victim’s 2015 Mercedes-Benz at least once, police sources told the Detroit News.

The violent act outside Smith’s north Detroit home landed the second-term senator into police custody with a noon arrest, the News added.

Wayne County jail records do not show a listing for Smith.

The case is being handled as a domestic violence incident.

The 36-year-old state senate Democrat is expected to sponsor a proposed bill by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to make cheaper car insurance available to residents, according to a Detroit Free Press report published in April.

During this year’s legislative session, Smith has sponsored measures to make first-degree murder of a police officer punishable by death, extend hours for liquor sales and remove restrictions on gay marriage from state laws.

He is also the son of former Michigan state Sen. Virgil Smith Sr.

Attempts by the Daily News to reach Smith’s staff failed.













Police: State senator facing charges after Detroit shooting
Posted: May 11, 2015 9:23 AM CDT
Updated: May 11, 2015 10:44 AM CDT
By myFOXDetroit.com 


Fox 2 News Headlines

DETROIT (WJBK) - A state senator is facing charges after a shooting on Detroit's northwest side.

Detroit police announced in a news conference Monday morning Senator Virgil Smith is in police custody facing aggravated assault and malicious destruction of property charges. 

Police say the shooting happened at Smith's home in the 18 thousand block of Wexford Street. He is accused of firing what is believed to be a shotgun after a fight with his girlfriend, who is also his ex-wife. Multiple shots were fired and all missed the woman, but hit her car.
Detroit police chief James Craig also said at the conference reports suggesting Smith was missing and uncooperative are false. Craig says Smith has been cooperative with the investigation from the beginning, and that he has received no special treatment. 

"We have treated this case no different than we would any other case involving domestic violence," says Craig. 

A prosecutor's assistance says they do not have a warrant request yet.













Detroit chief: Car shot outside state senator's house
May 10, 2015 - 5:45 p.m. EDT
Lansing State Journal

DETROIT – Detroit's police chief says that someone fired a shotgun at a car parked outside the home of state Sen. Virgil Smith.

Chief James Craig tells The Detroit News that no one was hurt in the shooting, which happened about 1 a.m. Sunday next to Smith's home on Detroit's north side.

Craig declines comment on who fired the shots, saying it's "still an ongoing investigation." He says the shooter fired at least twice, striking the 2015 Mercedes-Benz.

The Associated Press left messages Sunday seeking comment from Dennis Denno, chief of staff for the Democratic legislator.













Police investigate Sen. Virgil Smith after shooting at Detroit home
Posted: May 10, 2015 8:07 AM CDT
Updated: May 11, 2015 9:36 AM CDT
By myFOXDetroit.com
http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/29024664/police-investigate-sen-virgil-smith-after-shooting-at-detroit-home

Detroit Police are investigating a shooting involving a state senator on Detroit's northwest side.

Police say the incident happened at the home of Senator Virgil Smith in the 18000 block of Wexford Street. He is accused of firing what is believed to be a shotgun, after a fight with his girlfriend, who is also his ex-wife. The bullet missed the woman, but hit her car.

Police say they're looking to his girlfriend in relation to this incident. 

Investigators were seen taking evidence out of Smith's house Sunday afternoon. One piece of evidence appeared to be some type of long gun wrapped in a garbage bag. 

Nicole Pelkey a neighbor says the sound of gunfire Sunday shook her, "I was on my way to sleep and it woke me up. It sounded like a whole clip was unloaded, at least 12 shots it went a couple times, stopped and then went a few more times."

Detroit Police would not confirm that Smith was being held for the incident Sunday. 

Smith, D-Detroit, represents the 4th district which covers north Detroit to Allen Park, some of Lincoln Park and also Southgate. Smith has been a legislator since 2003 and is the chair of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus and is the vice president of a number of Senate committees. Smith was re-elected in 2014. 













Detroit Police investigating shooting at home of State Senator Virgil Smith
WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7 
Published on May 10, 2015
Detroit Police are investigating a shooting at the home of State Senator Virgil K. Smith in the 18600 block of Wexford Street on Detroit's northwest side.

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Police investigate shooting outside Sen. Virgil Smith's home
WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7
Published on May 10, 2015
Police investigate shooting outside Sen. Virgil Smith's home

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Shooting at Sen. Virgil Smith's home
WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7
Published on May 10, 2015
Shooting at Sen. Virgil Smith's home

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