A local man has been found guilty of violating his probation following an emotional hearing in Cannon County Circuit.
John C. Smith appeared before Chancellor Robert E. Corlew, III on Thursday to answer charges that he violated his probation after having indirect contact with his ex-wife.
First to testify was Smith’s probation officer, Shelly Christian. Christian told the Court that she received a report that Smith had gone to his ex-wife’s home in White County and asked a man who was there to deliver a message to his ex-wife. The probation officer said that action violated the terms of Smith’s probation so she filed a warrant for his arrest.
Next to testify was the man Smith spoke to in White County. He said Smith approached him on the date in question and the two of them had a conversation and Smith asked him to deliver a message to his wife.
The man testified that the message concerned legal papers that Smith wanted his ex-wife to sign.
Following that testimony, Assistant District Attorney David Puckett called the ex-wife’s boyfriend to testify. He said he called Smith after receiving the message in an attempt to find out what he wanted. He said that Smith became very agitated during the conversation and said he would talk to the ex-wife one way or the other and he would, in effect, kidnap her.
Smith’s ex-wife then took the stand and said she was terrified of him and that he has been very abusive to her in the past. She broke down in tears as she told the Court about her fear of Smith.
Under intense cross-examination by Smith’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ken McKnight, the ex-wife stuck to her story and said that she was scared of Smith and feared he would harm her.
McKnight said the ex-wife just wanted Smith out of the picture and in prison so she could gain access to several parcels of real estate the Smiths owns.
Smith testified on his own behalf and admitted asking the man to deliver the message to his wife, but denied he threatened to kidnap her when he spoke to the boyfriend. He also said that, in fact, the boyfriend is the one who threatened him.
After hearing all the testimony, Chancellor Corlew found that Smith had technically violated his probation.
He ordered him to serve 30 days in the County Jail and directed that he not go to White County during the remainder of his time on probation.
He also ordered that Smith’s probation be supervised for the remainder of his probation period rather than unsupervised.