Eaton Rapids Sgt. In Court For Domestic Violence - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Eaton Rapids Sgt. In Court For Domestic Violence


MASON, Mich. (WLNS) - A local cop and his ex-wife took to the witness stand today in a battle of "he said, she said" in 55th District Court.

Sgt. Jeff Smith, a sergeant with the Eaton Rapids Police Department is accused of physically harming his ex-wife last summer. The two were married at the time, but court records in Jackson County show they divorced late last year.

Smith is charged with domestic violence. He testified in court today that the two got into an argument after attending a mutual friend's going away party back in July of 2012. While on the drive back to their Meridian Township home, Smith said the two started verbally fighting about a job she wanted to take.

Smith told the jury the heated conversation made him question his marriage. When the two arrived home, Smith said she wasn't welcome there. Smith then testified his ex became physical and "hit" him in the chest.

Smith said the two eventually made it inside the home and into one of the bedrooms where he pulled out a loaded gun. 

"She was upset. I just continued to get verbally cut down," said Smith. "It's tough to talk about. I put the gun to my head & she said you're a coward again. I put the gun back down and said if you feel like I hurt you, why don't you pull the trigger?"

Smith says the gun never went off and he ended up removing the magazine and rounds.

When his ex-wife took the witness stand, she described him as "angry" and that she was "afraid" to report the alleged domestic violence incident to police.

"He pushed me. He told me you're not coming in. This is my house, you're not coming in," she said. "At that point, I said I am coming in. I live here & attempted to push past him to get into the house. He grabbed my right arm and started whipping me around."

The woman said she received bruises on her feet, her arm, and a scrape on her knee. She also told the jury Smith continued to say over and over that "If you report this, I'm in so much trouble. You can't leave."

She also mentioned the gun in her testimony saying Smith put it to his head and told her to pull the trigger. Smith's ex told the jury that she didn't and convinced him to put the gun down. She then told the court she left the home and drove to her mother's house. 

Smith's attorney told 6 News the domestic violence charge against him were brought to light, because one of his co-workers was trying to and advance her own career.

Smith is still employed with the Eaton Rapids Police Department, but is on paid administrative leave. He's an 11-year-veteran of the force.

If convicted of domestic violence, a misdemeanor, the prosecutor says Smith could face 93 days in jail.

The trial is expected to resume on Wednesday, April 17 at 9:00 a.m.

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