A Jackson man who was originally charged with second-degree murder in the August 2013 fatal shooting of his wife has now been indicted with first-degree murder, according to a Wednesday morning news release from the Jackson Police Department.
The release said Michael Allen Smith Sr., 42, was indicted Tuesday by a Madison County grand jury for first-degree murder in the August 9, 2013 fatal shooting of Christy Smith, his wife of 16 years.
Smith is being held on a $500,000 bond at Madison County Jail and is scheduled to be formally arraigned on the new charge on Monday in Madison County Circuit Court.
The release said during the investigation, police discovered evidence that Christy Smith’s murder was premeditated, prompting the more serious charge of first-degree murder.
According to Jackson police and an affidavit of complaint, around 10:10 p.m. Aug. 9, 2013, JPD officers responded to Michael and Christy Smith’s home on Holly Ridge Cove after receiving a call about a shooting. Christy Smith, who had a large pool of blood coming from her head, was found laying unresponsive in the hallway.
The assistant county corner arrived on the scene and pronounced 36-years-old Christy Smith dead. He also said a wound on her forehead was consistent with blunt force trauma and the wound on her nose was consistent with a close contact gunshot wound .
The affidavit also said Betty Link, Christy Smith’s mother, said she received a phone call from Michael Smith. Link said Michael Smith told her that he had just killed her daughter Christy and wanted her to get the couple’s children.
Police said they developed information that Michael Smith worked at SAIA Motor Freight Line, located at 400 Industrial Drive in Jackson. Officers searched the area and found Michael Smith's abandoned truck on the property. Police contacted company personnel and asked to search the building. SAIA personnel arrived and opened the door upon police request.
Officers searched the building and around 1:15 a.m. Aug. 10, a police dog found Smith hiding in a bathroom. Smith was taken into custody around 1:20 a.m. without further incident.
The affidavit said during an interview with an investigator, Michael Smith admitted that during an argument with his wife, he fired his .40 caliber pistol one time from a close distance at her and left the house when she fell to the floor.
Smith was arraigned on a charge of second-degree murder on Aug. 12. It was during his arraignment in Jackson City Court that he asked to go to Pathways for a mental evaluation.
Following the arraignment, Michael Smith’s family said they were shocked about the crime and that it was hard to believe.
Court documents and police reports revealed that the murder was not the first time a domestic dispute involving the Smiths had been reported.
In April 1996, Michael Smith told JPD that he was sprayed with Mace or some other chemical agent by Christy Smith. Police said Michael Smith declined to file charges, so details of the incident are not available.
Two months later, Michael Smith was arrested and charged with domestic assault and especially aggravated assault, according to court documents from the Madison County General Sessions Court Clerk’s office.
The affidavit said Christy Smith told deputies she was assaulted by Michael Smith and that he threw her 7-week old child at her.
The affidavit revealed Michael Smith pleaded guilty to child abuse (which was classified as a misdemeanor) on June 27, 1996. He was ordered to pay a fine of $100 and his 11 month and 29 days in jail was suspended.
Michael Smith was also ordered by the judge to stay away from Christy Smith and the child until arrangements could be made. The affidavit did not specify what kind of arrangements.
On Jan. 7, 2001, Michael Smith was arrested for assaulting Christy Smith, grabbing her arm and hitting her in the left eye, according to a Jackson police report.
Michael Smith was convicted of the crime and placed on probation on Jan. 11, 2001. His sentence for 11 months and 29 days was suspended and he was ordered to attend domestic violence classes and do 24 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay $38.75.
According to her obituary, Christy Smith was born in Jackson and was a homemaker. She is survived by her her son, Michael Smith Jr., of Jackson; her daughter, Alexis Smith, of Jackson; her mother, Betty Link and husband John, of Denmark; her brothers, Sam Link, Jeramy Link and Cordarus Link, all of Jackson, and her sister, Donna Smith, of Denmark.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, call 911 or the Jackson Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit at 731-425-8400. To get help after the violence, call the Wo/Men’s Resource and Rape Assistance Program (WRAP) at 1-800-273-8712. or visit www.wraptn.org.