Jury reaches unanimous verdict of justifiable homicide in office - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Jury reaches unanimous verdict of justifiable homicide in officer involved shooting

The Butler County coroner held an inquest at the Butler County Courthouse on July 16. The Butler County coroner held an inquest at the Butler County Courthouse on July 16.
The Butler County Sheriff appointed an advisory committee to select a jury for the inquest. The Butler County Sheriff appointed an advisory committee to select a jury for the inquest.
Butler County Coroner JIm Akers Butler County Coroner JIm Akers
POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - A jury reached an unanimous verdict of justifiable homicide by self-defense in the case of a man shot by a deputy in Butler County on May 24.

The Butler County coroner held an inquest at the Butler County Courthouse on July 16 in connection with an officer involved shooting of 59-year-old Frank Smody on May 24.

The Butler County Sheriff appointed an advisory committee to select a jury for the inquest after an officer involved shooting.

The committee was appointed so the sheriff wouldn't be involved in the process. The committee is made up of three people who have no ties to anything in the incident.

The inquest comes after Smody died after in an officer involved shooting outside a home on Saturday, May 24 in Butler County, Missouri.

According to Butler County Coroner Jim Akers, the autopsy revealed Smody died from a gunshot wound.

He said he filed an inquest, which means a jury heard the evidence in this case and made a decision on if the death was justifiable.

The seven person jury heard sworn testimony from witnesses and were presented evidence.

The proceeding was open to the public.

According to the Butler County Sheriff's Office, it happened in the 3700 block of State Route BB.

Around 12:50 a.m. on May 24, officers got a call about a prowler/trespasser around a home.

A deputy made a sweep of the outdoor area of the home and shots were fired.

The officer shot back and fatally wounded Smody.

The name of the officer has not been released.

The deputy was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

According to Butler County County Coroner Jim Akers, the coroner's office is leading the investigation and asked the Missouri Highway Patrol to assist.

There were nearly 100 people inside the courtroom on Wednesday afternoon.

The Butler County prosecutor listened to the proceeding.

Seven jurors walked in and listened to the results of autopsy read to them. The cause of death was listed as a gunshot wound.

Smody's daughter was first to take the stand.

She says that she called sheriff's department because there were prowlers on property. She says she called her dad as well.

She says that she told her dad that she called police.

Smody's daughter says deputy was prepared to leave but then they heard gunshots. She says the deputy told her to get in house after hearing a gunshot.

Smody's daughter says there were no red lights on patrol car that arrived on scene.

She says deputy was in uniform when he arrived on scene.

Smody's daughter was then excused from stand.

A witness who was at the home took the stand. He says he aware of the phone calls to both the sheriff's department and Smody.

The witness confirmed that Smody was aware that police were called.

The witness says he kept the door partially open in order to see. He saw a man with a rifle pointed at the deputy.

He says he heard deputy give loud command to the man with the rifle. The deputy asked the man to identify himself.

The witness says he did not hear the man respond. He then fired at the deputy according to witness.

The witness said the gun was facing forward with the barrel near the shoulder.

Next witness called to the stand was doing a ride along with deputy. 

Permission was granted for the ride along by the chief deputy.

The witness says that she stayed in car and heard the deputy yelling. He was with Butler County Sheriff's Department.

She says that she heard hte deputy yell to the man that he needed to lower his weapon. She then said she saw deputy fire his weapon.

The witness says she was scared. 

The deputy in question then took the stand.

The deputy says daughter told him that people were shining flashlights inside her windows.

He says he was about to leave then he heard a shot. He told the daughter and first witness to get inside the house.

Then, the deputy says he saw a muzzle flash point at him.

The officers says that he identified himself twice and the man told deputy he was on his property.

The deputy was visibly shaken on the stand. He was crying while describing his account of the story.

The deputy says he never would have fired a shot unless he thought the man was trying to kill him.

The deputy says the man fired two shots after he was shot and that he called for EMS.

The deputy says he stopped firing when he saw the man fall over.

A Poplar Bluff police officer was called to the stand.

The officer says he spoke with the man after he was shot. The man asked him where he was shot. The officer said he responded when the call came in for an officer involved shooting.

A highway patrol investigator was called to the stand. He says they identified witnesses and collected evidence while on scene. He says he interviewed the daughter and recorded the conversation.

The investigator says no charges were filed against the deputy after the investigation.

Another highway patrol trooper took the stand. He said he collected evidence and took pictures at the scene. He said he found casings from the deputy's gun.

Someone close with the family wanted to pass along they appreciate everyone thoughts and prayers through this tough time. They are waiting for the inquest before they issue any statements.

Stay with Heartland News and kfvs12.com for updates to this story. You can also follow @ToddTkfvs on Twitter for updates.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.
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