Wood County Pct 2 constable accused of directing K9 to bite ‘non-threatening suspect’
(PRESS RELEASE) From the U.S. Department of Justice:
A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging an East Texas law enforcement official with federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
Kelly Jason Smith, 46, was named in the indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Nov. 10, in Sherman, Texas, charging him with deprivation of rights under color of law.
According to the indictment, on July 25, Smith, the Wood County Precinct 2 Constable, directed his police dog to bite a suspect who did not pose a threat that warranted use of the police dog. These actions resulted in unnecessary bodily injury to the suspect.
If convicted, Smith faces up to 10 years in federal prison. A grand jury indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
In response to the indictment, Constable Kelly Smith’s legal representatives issued the following statement:
Constable Smith, a 25-year police officer and U.S. Marine veteran, did not commit any crime. He was merely doing his job and apprehending an extremely violent individual named Robert Evans, who had four outstanding fugitive warrants, including felony injury to a child, family violence domestic assault against his wife, and evading arrest. Evans barricaded himself inside his trailer home, failed to comply with officers’ commands, and refused to surrender to the authorities. Constable Smith sustained a broken finger and a knee injury during the incident, and his actions were all in compliance with K-9 handler standards.
This case will be tried to a jury, and we look forward to presenting his defense to the good citizens of East Texas.
Cody Skipper and Toby Shook, attorneys for Constable Kelly Smith
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