Ex-state Sen. Virgil Smith who shot up ex-wife's car with AR-15 pleads guilty

Former state Sen. Virgil Smith. - MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Michigan Department of Corrections
Former state Sen. Virgil Smith.

Former state Sen. Virgil Smith Jr. pleaded guilty Wednesday to two charges stemming from a 2015 case in which he opened fire on his ex-wife’s Mercedes-Benz with an AR-15 rifle.

In exchange for his guilty pleas, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s Office agreed to a sentence of probation and dismissed charges of felonious assault, domestic violence assault and battery, and felony firearm. Smith pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property and reckless discharge of a firearm.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Talon on Oct. 28. Smith and prosecutors reached a sentence agreement that calls for him serving probation until March 14, 2021.

Smith, 40, had previously reached a plea agreement that would have prohibited him from holding elective office during a five-year probation period. As part of that deal, he served about nine moths in jail in 2016. But Smith violated the agreement by running for a Detroit City Council seat in 2017, a race he lost.

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in July 2018 that Smith cannot be barred from running for office as part of a plea agreement. Prosecutors reinstated the previous charges.

The violent encounter happened after Smith’s ex-wife Anistia Thomas told police that she saw another woman in Thomas’ bed. She and Thomas got into a physical confrontation, and she said he assaulted her. After Thomas was outside the home, she said Smith grabbed a semi-automatic rifle and began shooting at her.

“He actually tried to kill me,” she told the Detroit Free Press earlier this year. “He shot at me with his AR-15.”

Smith denied shooting at her, instead saying he shot at her car when she was not inside it.

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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