State Sen. Smith appears in court on felony charges

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Detroit — As cameras clicked away, state Sen. Virgil Smith Jr. stood silently at a probable cause hearing Friday morning in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Smith, 35, has been charged with felonious assault, malicious destruction of personal property $20,000 or more, domestic violence assault and battery, and felony firearm after he allegedly shot up his ex-wife’s Mercedes Benz after an argument outside his Detroit house.

The 35-year-old Democrat, who represents Detroit in Lansing, was reportedly naked at the time. He was arraigned last week.

Smith remained mute Friday as his charges were read in Judge Michael E. Wagner’s courtroom.

After the brief hearing was adjourned, Smith wordlessly left the courthouse tracked by a scrum of reporters and cameramen.

A woman who declined to identify herself collected business cards from the media mob as Smith left with attorney Godfrey Dillard.

Smith has kept a low profile since the alleged incident that has had a profound impact on his presence in Lansing.

State Democratic Leader Jim Ananich, who has stripped Smith of his committee assignments and duties as assistant caucus whip, has said Smith should reassess his political future.

Smith’s legislative website has been taken down except for a message that reads “Senator Virgil Smith’s office will continue to be open and available to assist constituents of the 4th Senate district. If you need any assistance, please call 517-373-7918 or email”

Smith’s office also remains locked.

Smith’s preliminary examination is set for 9 a.m. June 12.

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