Attorney says federally indicted Wood Co. constable was ‘merely doing his job’

Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 6:38 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2022 at 6:51 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - We’re hearing from the attorney representing a Wood County constable indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly using excessive force by way of his police dog.

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.

“This is not a crime,” said Cody Skipper, a Dallas attorney representing Smith along with attorney Toby Shook.

In an interview via Zoom, Skipper argued his client was merely doing his job by apprehending an “extremely violent” person with a known criminal history.

“Robert Evans was not compliant,” Skipper said. “He did not comply. He affirmatively got himself in a bathroom. He broke Kelly’s finger, injured his knee. And he is now the prime witness for the federal government after receiving a whopping three stitches in his foot.”

Skipper said the case will go before a jury, and he looks forward to presenting Smith’s defense.

“When you have a barricaded suspect on video, poke his head out of the trailer home and shut the door on the police, barricades with a mattress inside the bathroom after he already has a warrant out for running from the police on the previous incident where he choked son and beat his wife there’s a problem,” Skipper said.

If convicted, Smith faces up to 10 years in federal prison. Skipper said they expect to surrender Smith on a summons at some point, but when that will happen is unknown.