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

Sep 16, 2020 at 1:29 pm
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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