Trial delayed for ex-state Sen. Virgil Smith

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News
Former state Senator Virgil Smith, right, listens to his defense attorney, David Steingold, Friday in court.

The trial for former state Sen. Virgil Smith will be delayed, a Wayne County judge told Smith, his attorney and the prosecutor on the case Friday.

Former state Senator Virgil Smith, right, takes a deep breath Friday as he appears with his defense attorney, David Steingold, in front of Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Talon.

Smith's trial was scheduled for March 4 but Talon said he has another jury trial that begins Feb. 25 and it will conflict with Smith's trial date. The judge set a pretrial hearing at 8:30 a.m. March 1 to set another trial date for Smith.

Smith is charged with shooting up his ex-wife's car following an argument when she came to his east-side home and allegedly found another woman there in May 2015. According to authorities, more than 20 rounds were fired into Anistia Thomas' vehicle outside Smith's home in the 18000 block of Wexford.

Thomas said she sustained bruises, a busted lip and a swollen jaw from the incident.

Smith faces trial on charges of malicious destruction of personal property-$20,000 or more, assault with a dangerous weapon (felonious assault), felony firearm and domestic violence.

Smith is being represented by attorney David Steingold. 

Last July, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Smith could not be barred from running for office again.

In the court's split decision, justices ruled that the plea deal Smith reached with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office violated public policy by prohibiting Smith from seeking election to any office during a five-year probation period.

Charges of felonious assault, felony firearm and domestic violence against Smith were dropped In March 2016 and Smith resigned his state Senate seat a few weeks later.

Smith ran for a seat on the Detroit City Council in 2017 but was unsuccessful. He advanced in the District 2 primary but lost in the general election to Roy McAlister.

In November, Talon allowed Smith to withdraw from his plea agreement, leading to the reinstatement of felony charges.