WOOD COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – A Wood County Precinct 2 Constable was indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday for “use of excessive force,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas.
Kelly Jason Smith, 46, was indicted in Sherman, Texas for the deprivation of rights under color of law. The indictment stated that on July 25, Smith told his police dog to bite a suspect “who did not pose a threat that warranted use of the police dog.”
The suspect suffered unnecessary bodily injury, said the U.S. Attorney’s office. Smith could be sentenced to 10 years in federal prison if convicted of this offense.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston for the Eastern District of Texas and James J. Dwyer, an FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge, shared the information about the indictment.
The FBI Dallas Field Office is looking into the incident, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Batson for the Eastern District of Texas is prosecuting the case.
Smith’s attorneys shared 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.”